Sunday, February 22, 2009

On the Shameful Hysterical Rant of Rick Santelli.

Former trader and financial executive now turned “journalist” Rick Santelli’s hysterical rant about the mortgage bailout plan on CNBC last week struck a raw nerve at the White House and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs spent several minutes criticizing the rant at his Friday (Feb. 20) press conference.

It got me unusually mad too.

Unfortunately such outbursts have become rather common on MSNBC (think of Joe Scarborough, Chris Matthews or even Keith Olbermann) but Santelli’s resentment is so typical of what we have heard from other divisive right-wing disconnected populists over the last decade (the Rugh Limbaughs and other Sean Hannitys) that it gets really REALLY old and tiring – especially in hard times when other people should really be angry.

Those free-market ideologues should have the decency of keeping a low profile since it is precisely their extreme elitists’ ideologies of deregulation and Wall Street values of making an easy buck that got us into this mess.

It is not the government that’s promoting bad behavior, Mr Santelli, it is THE BORKERS, THE BANKS, WALL SREET and DEREGULATION and GREEDY POPULISTS like you that have been promoting bad behavior.

But Mr Santelli lives and breathes through Wall Street and sees nothing else. His world is a world made only of losers and winners (in which he is a winner), and of course if you happen to be a “loser”, it’s because you deserve it. If you are behind in your mortgage, you must be a loser so why “Subsidize the losers’ mortgages”?

Santelli should leave the trading floor every once in a while and see what the world is like out there.

No, not everyone behind on their mortgage knowingly took out a loan they were incapable of making payments on. In this day and age, job losses happen (in addition to the usual divorce, sudden illness, and so forth).

For Santelli to turn to a room full of brokers and traders making (not long ago anyway) six figures and say “This is America” is very telling of his disconnect from the rest of us.

As he put it later when he was grilled by Chris Matthews, there is indeed a “philosophical” issue here, and his view is indeed typical of extreme right-wing ideologues of his kind who think that just because some people might (emphasis on “some” and “might”) take advantage of the system (any system) then there should be no system – no healthcare, no welfare, no bailout, no nothing! Those who can’t make it may as well deserve death.

This economic and financial crisis is having such a great impact on our society that many of the free-market ideologues are bound to be either in denial, or become liars, schizophrenic or victims of post-traumatic stress - it is after all Hank Paulson, who under G. W Bush (both big fans of deregulation) first nationalized the cost of bad loans made by financial institutions.

And for the Republicans to now complain about government spending and get away with it is something else - as you can see on this chart, the debt has tripled under Reagan, it shrank under Clinton, and went up again with Bush now reaching about 8.7 times its 1980 level.

I suppose it is ok when the spending goes to phony star-war programs or unnecessary wars but not so much to help lower-middle class Americans who are losing their homes!

The good thing is that Santelli is so far out there that his call for a “tea party” from the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange will be the laugh of the nation.

The moral of the story ? It is that there is nothing moral about it. Populism and anger still pay off in America :

Santelli, who doesn't have an agent, said he already has heard from several publishers, a prospect that interests him. And he previously has enjoyed doing talk radio. That said, he noted, "I'm pretty happy with what I do."

If nothing else, his value to CNBC has increased demonstrably with the exposure his commentary on the housing plan has brought to the cable network owned by General Electric's NBC Universal. His video has set a record at, scoring many times as many page views as the site's previous leader, a 2007 rant by Jim Cramer.

"I've been associated with them 14 years, 10 years on the payroll, and you never see me much in commercials and whatnot," Santelli said. "Boy, has that changed in the last 36 hours."

(Chicago Tribune)


At 23:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a load of tripe! free marketers who got it wrong. like we've had an unregulated free market to get wrong! 7000 pages of new regulation under dubya alone. then there's the fed, fannie and freddie, community re-investment act, artificial interest rates along with the precedent set by with chrysler, s&l etc. free market? you have no idea what you're talking about!

At 16:40, Blogger Joker & Thief said...

Someone needs to do their homework, Mr Anonymous.
You should go beyond ideology and look at the facts because what is your rant based on exactly? Gut feeling? Wishful thinking? right-wing anger?
Personally, I'd rather talk about facts (here's a few for you :
The Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 / -1999 : the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act / The 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act / the end of Net capital rule in 2004...)
Even free-marketer Christopher Cox admitted the lack of oversight helped cause the financial crisis.
But maybe you know better... except we don't even know who you are.
(your comment did get published however; because on this blog we also believe in "freedom", but freedom of expression over freedom of speculation!)
And for more, feel free to read this post ( on our blog.


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