Rick Santelli was born on 12th of January, 1953, in Wheaton, Illinois. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While studying at the university, he was a member of the famous fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi. In his early professional life, he was a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, as well as the Chicago Board of Trade.
In the year 1979, he began to trade on the basis of order fill at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. His initial items of trade were gold, timber, livestock, and even currencies. Rick Santelli has worked as the vice president at Rand Financial Services. He was also the managing director of the Derivative Products Group. He also worked as a financial trader and executive for Drexel Burnham Lambert, a Wall Street Investment banking firm.
Due to unfavorable economic conditions, Santelli quit his job as an executive, which was handling institutional financial trading and hedge accounts. He joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in June 1999. He reported from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. As a reporter, Santelli has focused his attention on issues like rate and cost of interest, foreign exchange rates, and federal reserve.
Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan and Controversy
Rick Santelli gained genuine and national attention for the much criticized Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan, introduced by the Barack Obama government on 18th February 2009. According to the policy, the treasury department proposed to help 9 million homeowners in postponing foreclosure. The policy was also backed by a refinance mortgage facility that was to be provided by FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAE (United States based government sponsored banking organizations). The policy was financially backed by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Success of the policy was highly questionable due to some of the clauses.
Santelli responded to the policy sarcastically when he was reporting live from the CME Group floor in the pre-market hours. The criticism of some of the aspects of the policy was so well received by the American masses, that the people on the live floor from where Santelli was reporting exploded with cheers and shouts. Santelli commented that there might be a 'Chicago tea party' to oppose and criticize the policy. Indeed, later that week, many small 'tea parties' were held by the people at many different venues all across the United States. The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, responded by commenting that he was doubtful whether Santelli had actually read the policy of the government.
Members of the press and the media have compared the sarcastic report by Santelli, with the exploits of the fictional sarcastic reporter, Howard Beagle, who was featured in a 1976 film titled Network. These comments were very popular and were reported by CNN.com. Criticisms about the policy by the Obama government and also about Santelli's report continued for many weeks. The criticism ultimately reached a very negative and ill famous climax, when CNBC was criticized during 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart', a show hosted by the Comedy Central Channel.
Santelli has responded to the whole affair by saying "I think that this tea party phenomenon is steeped in American culture and steeped in American notion to get involved with what's going on with our government. I haven't organized. I'm going to have to work to pay my taxes, so I'm not going to be able to get away today. But, I have to tell you - I'm pretty proud of this."