Rick Santelli is a veteran trader and financial executive, and currently an on-air editor for the business news channel CNBC, where he reports live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade focusing primarily on interest rates, foreign exchange, and the Federal Reserve. Santelli joined CNBC in June 1999, coming from the Institutional Financial Futures and Options at Sanwa Futures, L.L.C., where he was a vice president handling institutional trading and hedge accounts for a variety of futures related products. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana with a Bachelor of Science degree. Santelli has been a member of both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.
Rick 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. Santelli gained experience and eventually 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. He has provided live reports on the markets in print and on local and national radio and television.
Santelli's Tea Party
On February 19, 2009, Rick Santelli and the traders on the floor of the CME Group expressed outrage about the bailouts and over the fact that the Obama administration is forcing taxpayers to pay for their neighbor's mortgage, particularly if they bought a house that they could not actually afford. In what is now known as the Shout Heard 'Round the World, Santelli argued, "The government is promoting bad behavior!" He declared that America needed "a new kind of tea party," so that citizens can express their discontent with "the government's support of fiscal irresponsibility." In full transcript, this is what Rick Santelli said:
|“||The government is promoting bad behavior! How is this, president and new administration, why didn'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 'em to people that might have a chance to actually prosper down the road and reward people that could carry the water instead of drink the water. 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. (boos) President Obama, are you listening? [...] Cuba used to have mansions and a relatively decent economy. They moved from the individual to the collective. Now they're driving '54 Chevys, may be the last great car to come out of Detroit. We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up at Lake Michigan, I'm going to start organizing. [...] There's only about 5% of the floor population here right now, and I talk loud enough they could all hear me. So if you want to ask them anything, let me know. These guys are pretty straightforward and, my guess is, a pretty good statistical cross section of America, the silent majority. They're pretty much of the notion that you can't buy your way into prosperity, and if the multiplier that all of these Washington economists are selling us is over one, that we never have to worry about the economy again, the government should spend a trillion dollars an hour because we'll get $1.5 trillion back. I'll tell you what, if you read our Founding Fathers, people like Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson, what we're doing in this country now, is making them roll over in their graves.||”|
Rick Santelli's on-air rant helped set in motion the Tea Party Movement. His video set a record at CNBC.com, scoring as many page views as the site’s previous leader, after a 2007 rant by Jim Cramer. However, liberals attempted to dismiss the video of Santelli's call to fiscal responsibility. Despite their attempts, the video "caught fire" on the Internet and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded with a condescending attack.
White House dispute
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs singled out media personalities Jim Cramer, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santelli in the course of less than two weeks. Gibbs responded at length to Santelli's on-air rant at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Asked about the segment, Gibbs said:
|“||I'm not entirely sure where Mr. Santelli lives or in what house he lives. But the America people are struggling every day to meet their mortgage. ... I would encourage him to read the president's plan and understand that it will help millions of people, many of whom he knows. I would be more than happy to have him come here and read it. I'd be happy to buy him a cup of coffee -- decaf.||”|
Despite Gibbs attempt to dismiss the logic of Santelli's speech, it inspired and brought increased motivation to the Chicago Tea Parties that took place on February 27, 2009; over 30,000 people made it to this event.
- Phil Rosenthal. Rant by CNBC's Rick Santelli puts pundit at odds with Obama administration, Chicago Tribune, February 22, 2009.
- Rick Santelli's Shout Heard 'Round the World, CNBC, February 22, 2009.
- The Pulse of Revolution Has Begun, RushLimbaugh.com, February 19, 2009.
- Phil Rosenthal. Rant raises profile of CNBC on-air personality Rick Santelli, Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2009.
- Rick Santelli on his CNBC mortgage rant: 'We really, really tapped into a nerve', Chicago Tribune, February 22, 2009.
- The Enforcers Assault Rick Santelli, RushLimbaugh.com, February 20, 2009.
- Gibbs Takes Off Gloves to Challenge Reporters, Hosts Who Cross Obama, FOXNews.com, March 04, 2009.
- Josh Gerstein. Gibbs rebukes CNBC's Santelli, Politico, February 20, 2009.
- Christoph, Teri (2009-02-27). SGP.TeaParty. Smart Girl Politics. Retrieved on 2009-03-03.