Jon Stewart’s Epic Rant Against CNBC

Originally published under title, “News and Information You Need*” (but won’t get)

The Liberty Voice Transcript Service

Jon Steward’s epic rant against CNBC from March 4, 2009.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
CNBC Financial Advice
Daily Show Full Episodes Economic Crisis Political Humor

Jon Stewart: Actually our guest tonight was supposed to be this guy, his name is Rick Santelli, he’s an analyst from CNBC and a former derivatives trader, recently became famous for a sort of Howard Beal moment on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he’d done some critical reporting on the hundreds of billions of bailout money going to failed banks, failed auto makers, insurers of failed banks and auto makers.  But when it looked like the President wanted a small percentage of that money to go to actual homeowners, WHOA…David Banner became the incredible Santelli…

Rick Santelli: How ’bout 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. This is America, how many of you people want to pay for your neighbors’ mortgages; raise your hand?

Floor of Wall Street: Booo!

Rick Santelli: President Obama, are you listening!

Jon Stewart: Yea, man! Wall Street is “mad as hell, and [they’re] not going to take it anymore!”

Unless by ‘it’ you mean 2 trillion dollars in their own bailout money. That — they will take.

Now, Mr. Santelli was invited to come on this program, and accepted the invitation, but on Friday, cancelled or I guess the phrase would be ‘bailed out’.

How many people would have liked to see Santelli come on this program?

(Crowd Applause)

Are you listening?  Are you listening Rick Santelli?

I have to say, I find cheap populism oddly arousing.

But see, Rick Santelli is angry that these ‘loser homeowners’ are going to get bailed out.  He believes in personal responsibility.  He believes in not rewarding the ‘losers’ for missing all the warning signs. I mean for God’s sakes the guy works at CNBC.  They’re the best of the best. The only business network that has the information and experience that we need.

CNBC Commercial: In business, knowledge is power, and only one network has the information and experience you need.

Jon Stewart: I just said that! Because when it comes to business news, you probably can’t name another network.  Bloomburg.  Ok, got it. So, to all you ‘dumb@$$ homeowners’ out there, who let your optimism and bad judgment blind you into accepting money that was offered to you from banks, educate yourselves.

CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer: Bear Stearns is fine. Do not take your money out. If there’s one takeaway other than the plus 400 — it’s that Bear Stearns is not in trouble.

[Bear Stearns went under six days later.]

CNBC Power Lunch host: Charlie, we talked about this yesterday, Lehman Brothers is no Bear Stearns.

Guest: I would concur with Charlie that you can’t compare Bear management and Lehman management, Lehman management is incredibly engaged and responsive.

[Lehman Brothers went under three months later.]

CNBC Faber Report host: Will Merrill need to raise capital?  No. That continues to be the refrain from management, from Mr. Thain, they raised 12.8 billion in capital. Remember, 4.2 billion of that was excess capital, no need to raise additional capital says Merrill Lynch.

[Five months later, Merrill Lynch ran out of capital.  It is now owned by Bank of America.]

Jim Cramer: The Bank of America is now the cheapest and the best, and I have to admit that, as much as I like Wachovia, I think Bank of America is going to 60 in a heartbeat.

[As of today, Bank of America trades under $4.00.]

This morning in New York, AIG gave some insight into how much they owe, and how much they may lose, what they’re saying right now is that the sub-prime losses or their exposure or whatever’s going to happen to them is very manageable. Does it mean that they’re not going to go bankrupt, does it mean, obviously they’re not. They’re the biggest insurance company and they’re well capitalized.

[Federal bailout money for AIG: $85 billion in September, $37.5 billion more in October, $30 billion more on Monday….to be continued…]

Jon Stewart: It’s not rocket science homeowners. It’s apparently alchemy.  You just had to tune in to CNBC’s shows like Fast Money and Squawk Box: reasoned financial reporting that combines the raw speed of fast money with the intelligence of a box of parrots.

You just had to know how to listen.

Jim Cramer: You should be buying things and accept that they’re over-valued but accept that they’re going to keep going higher, I know that sounds irresponsible, but that’s how you make the money.

[October 31, 2007  Dow: 13,930]

Cramer: That’s why the market just won’t quit, no matter how poorly actual companies are doing.

[February 1, 2008  Dow: 12,743]

CNBC’s Kudlow & Company host: The worst of this sub-prime business is over.

[April 16, 2008  Dow: 12,619]

Very simply, I believe that it means it’s time to buy, buy, buy.

[June 13, 2008  Dow: 12,307]

Fast Money: Fundamentals are coming back into play, I believe that people are starting to get confidence back.

[November 4, 2008  Dow: 9,625]

John Stewart: Wow!  If I’d only followed CNBC’s advice, I’d have a million dollars today! (Provided I’d started with a hundred million dollars.) How do they do it?  How do they do it?  I can see why Santelli is mad at homeowners, because CNBC does it with access. They’re not afraid to sit down with CEO’s from soon to fail companies like Bear Stearns, General Motors, and Merrill Lynch and ask them the questions that those CEO’s would like to be asked.

CNBC host: Will there be more write-downs at Bear Stearns?

Bear Stearns (BS) CEO: We feel pretty comfortable and confident in where we are as we sit here today.

CNBC host: So, it doesn’t sound to me like you’re expecting to have any more write-downs.

BS CEO: I wouldn’t expect any.

CNBC’s All Access: The upside potential for the company we think is good.

GM CEO: And we’re going to keep going with this strategy.

All Access: I gotta ask you Saturday night.  Kid Rock comes out at your GM style event and raises the roof, so to speak, have you seen the videotape of your vice chairman Bob Lutz and some of the dancing he was doing here?

Merrill Lynch CEO: I think the view is that, yes, the U.S. is going to slow down, but there’s still a lot of optimism around the rest of the world.

CNBC’s Davos hostess: It’s amazing! We’ve had a lot of executives on who’ve said the same thing: that in fact their businesses are doing o.k.!

Jon Stewart: That is amazing!  I mean, these CEO’s saying that their own businesses are doing o.k.!  I mean, it makes sense to take the CEO’s word for it. For instance, I know O.J. Simpson. He told me that he didn’t kill anybody, and he should know — he was there.

Perhaps, the network’s finest hour was when it interviewed Sir Allen Stanford whose bank and wealth management firm was posting oddly positive results in a down market because it was a fraudulent ponzi scheme.

CNBC host Karl Cucanea: You managed to avoid the sub-prime debacle almost entirely, didn’t you?

Allen Stanford: 100% we avoided the sub-prime debacle.

CNBC: What told you it was not a wise move?

Allen Stanford: Well, it’s very simple…

Jon Stewart: I ran a ponzi scheme! Instead of investing the money, I stole it!  8 billion dollars worth of it!

I’m baaaad…

Come on CNBC’s Karl Cucanea! You got one of the biggest white collar criminals in history live on the air, don’t let him get off the hook!

CNBC’s Cucanea: Before we let you go…

Jon Stewart: (In exaggerated anticipation) Here it comes — the million dollar question…

Cucanea: Is it fun being a billionaire?

Allen Stanford: Well, a…yes, yes, I have to say that it’s fun being a billionaire.

Jon Stewart: ‡µ©k you.  You know, between the two of ’em, I can’t decide which one of those guys I’d rather see in jail.

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