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CNBC Analyst Goes Off on Unemployment and Stocks: 'What Are We? A Banana Republic?


" can’t play this three card  monte game for long."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that U.S. employers added only 169,000 jobs in August and that the labor force participation rate edged down to 63.2 percent, its lowest point since August 1978.

But here’s the thing: despite the weak economic data, markets started the day on a relatively positive note.

CNBC’s Rick Santelli, the man commonly credited with starting the Tea Party movement, was not impressed.

“I just think it’s absolutely horrible that we -- that we’re in a marketplace where we get a lousy report, 35 years since we’ve seen these participation rates,” Santelli said.

“And listen,” he continued, “you know, you can’t hide the spread of four to four-and-a-half percent between the advertised unemployment rate and what it would be should you go back a few years on that participation rate.”

It’s worth noting that the unemployment rate today would be approximately 10.8 percent if labor force participation were at January 2009 levels.

“See,” Santelli continued, “those people aren’t working. They’re not buying houses. They’re not buying cars. They’re using services. They may be using entitlements or welfare. You can’t hide those millions of peoples forever.”

“So we wonder why we see our cost to take care of people that are in-between jobs rising faster than other areas, less improvement in the economy, not good GDP [gross domestic product]. That’s why. And you can’t play this three-card monte game for long.

“And to see the stock market rally,” he added, “on crappy data, to me, is just a horrible dynamic. What are we? A banana republic?”

His CNBC colleges, per the norm, were amused with Santelli’s passionate tirade.

You can watch the full discussion here:

Oh, by the way, stocks have since fallen and rebounded since Santelli's take on Friday's unemployment report. So there’s that:

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image CNBC.


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