Thursday, February 19, 2009


A screaming-red headline at the Drudge Report right now points readers to this clip, which is all the rage in the wingnuttosphere right now. In the clip, CNBC's Rick Santelli, on a trading floor in Chicago, urges the pink-cheeked Masters of the Universe wannabes to get all testosteroned up in revolt against the Obama mortgage plan and other recovery efforts. It's just hot air, but the craving for a riot of the right's own is palpable.

This may be taken down soon, but here's the YouTube version of the clip:

Here's a partial transcript, some of it nicked from Pammy Atlas:

Santelli: ... And in terms of modification, I'll tell you what, I have an idea. You know, the new administration's big on computers and new technology, how about this, President and new administration. Why don't you put up a website to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages or would we like to, at least, buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give them to people who might have a chance to actually prosper down the road. And reward people that can carry the water instead of drink the water. (rowdy applause on the trading floor)

Host: That's a novel idea. They're like putty in your hands. Did you hear --

Santelli: No they're not, Joe, they're not like putty in our hands. This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? Raise their hand. (no hands raised, lots of booing) President Obama, are you listening?

Trader on the floor: How about we all stop paying our mortgages? It's a moral hazard....

Santelli: We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I'm going to start organizing it. (Trader on floor whistles approvingly) ....

My favorite line? "This is America." No it isn't. It's an exclusive little fraternity of overgrown frat boys who think they're entitled to party wherever and however they want, to vomit in your living room or mine and crap in our couches if they feel like it, then, when their status is threatened, hold us to an exalted standard of responsibility. Screw them.

And yes, I know a lot of non-Masters in America agree with the notion that we shouldn't be bailing out delinquent and "underwater" mortgage-holders. The administration could be doing a better job of explaining why it's necessary to prevent a further downward spiral in housing prices, and in the economy as a whole. But at least the administration isn't demagoguing and rabble-rousing this way.


UPDATE: After the video went viral, National Review's Stephen Spruiell interviewed Santelli, who whined:

... listen, my 401k's a 201k, my kid's college tuition is going up 10 percent. This is tough for everybody. Maybe a tax break, maybe everybody who has a house gets something. They need to quit picking winners and losers, and they have to quit alienating the classes....

Before you shed a tear for Rick Santelli and his "201(k)," read his bio:

... He joined CNBC from the Institutional Financial Futures and Options at Sanwa Futures, L.L.C. There, he was a vice president handling institutional trading and hedge accounts for a variety of futures related products.

Prior to that, Santelli worked as vice president of Institutional Futures and Options at Rand Financial Services, Inc., served as managing director at the Derivative Products Group of Geldermann, Inc., and was Vice President in charge of Interest Rate Futures and Options at the Chicago Board of Trade for Drexel, Burnham, Lambert. Santelli began his career in 1979 as a trader and order filler at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in a variety of markets including gold, lumber, CD's, T-bills, foreign currencies and livestock....

Oh yeah, I'm sure this SOB is really hurting right now.

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