The man whose rant kicked off the Tea Party displayed more of his trademark off-the-cuff passion on Monday in an epic verbal battle with an entire show full of commentators.
“A lot of people have been credited with starting the modern-day tea party but make no mistake, it was [CNBC reporter] Rick Santelli,” Glenn Beck once said.
The same fire behind Santelli’s Tea Party monologue showed up on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” on Monday.
He sparred with and shouted over economic experts and the head of a major bank’s foreign exchange division.
Santelli’s essential criticisms were that the Federal Reserve’s “easy money” policies have kept interest rates artificially low, generating an artificial stock market bubble that’s benefitting the wealthy and connected while hamstringing markets and laming the economy.
But the written word might not be up to conveying the scope and volume of Santelli’s criticism — watch for yourself here (at one point he even storms off camera):
A few highlights:
“Do you wanna hear social policy from the head of the biggest central bank, who controls four-and-a-half trillion [dollars] of America’s money?” Santelli asks.
“I want the Fed to do what it’s supposed to do which is bring about an economy with low unemployment and low inflation,” says Steve Liesman, CNBC’s resident Fed Watcher, responds.
“Clinical!” Santelli shouts in response. “They’re supposed to be clinical! They’re bankers, not psychologists!”
Later he digs deeper on the potential for inflation.
“Do you think there was easy money in front of the [2008 financial] crisis?” Santelli asks. “Do you think that was one of the contributing factors, yes or no?”
“In hindsight, it was, yes,” a panelist concedes.
“Okay, well, why don’t we get some hindsight early now?” Santelli shouts.
Santelli on what the supposed experts think about economic policy: “We’re America, we don’t believe in consensus!”
Santelli on sports: “[The Federal Reserve] need[s] a better strategy than the Cubs. ‘Wait til next year’ isn’t a strategy.”
“Rick, you already decided [the Fed’s policy] wasn’t gonna work five years ago,” a panelist butts in.
“And I was right!” Santelli responds as he storms off camera. “End of conversation!”
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