Debt Ceiling 101, Santelli Sounds Off

Tyler Durden's picture

In an effort to reach the angry mob, CNBC's Rick Santelli goes all Sesame Street on the numbers behind the US Debt Ceiling Rise. Focusing for two minutes on what this practically means for every man, woman, child, and politician, the shouting Chicagoan points out that when the US breaches this new limit then the world's entire population will be on the hook for $2,346 each (and $52,409 per US person).

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YesWeKahn's picture

Bernanke can print all that in 15 seconds.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Uncle Warren will pay it all down. 

SheepDog-One's picture

Yea can't we just lower interest rates some more and pay it off at 0%? 

Oh wait...

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

or over100K per actual taxpayer.

all irrelevant by 2020 trillions will look like billions do today and all the obligations will be marginalized.

Unless one is from The Magic the Gathering crowd in which case prosperity goes on forever until it doesn't at which point the world will end


redpill's picture

Let's just make interest rates negative and the debt will pay off itself automatically.  Brilliant!

FEDbuster's picture

Zimbabwenomics, as I look at the 100 trillion dollar Zimbabwe bank note on my desk.  Default or hyperinflation, choose your poison. 

The battle to retain world's reserve currency status has begun.  When we lose that, it's a head first dive into the shit abyss.

ratso's picture

Santelli has a big blusterous mouth and doesn't know how to listen.  He just yells over everyone.

His fame comes from sensationalizing the obvious - big whoop. 

Santelli - BOOOOOO!

slaughterer's picture

Santelli sounds like David Lee Roth.  

Freegolder's picture

Well, in fact the battle/war began around 80 years ago, and will be over within 5 years,

Bye bye dollar system, hello freegold.

TheSilverJournal's picture

According to this CNBC reporter that is possible because "They control it. They can do whatever they want."

So according to this guy, the Fed has a magic wand and can control everything. How brainless of a statement is that?

Of course, the Fed can’t do whatever it wants. The Fed doesn’t have a magic wand. The fact is the Fed operates in the real world and there are real consequences to the Fed’s actions of printing money and ultra low rates, such as inflation. And inflation inevitably leads to higher rates.

BLOTTO's picture


just thinking...

and wondering if a major war thats on the horizon, which would kill many people, essentially does the same thing...debt pays itself off?


grekko's picture

Nope, war doesn't help.  With all those dead guys not paying in, all of the survivors just gwet a bigger piece of the debt pie.

zerozulu's picture

I thought about your suggestion for a few minutes but I think I will accept Jubilee Debt that’s it. No compromise.

LongBallsShortBrains's picture

I'll take a trillion @ -.01%. Pay me to borrow!

Zero Debt's picture

> Let's just make interest rates negative and the debt will pay off itself automatically.  Brilliant!

Kind of funny but obviously totally wrong. If you did that, then bondholders would have to take a guaranteed annual haircut on the principal. If that was the case, they would most likely try to sell those bonds. Who would like to own an asset that goes down 2% per year, guaranteed. Unless you were forced to own it, of course. So this would drive rates up again, and probably sharply. If the bonds were to be used as reserves in a fractional lending institution, and you kept haircutting that capital base, you would have a leveraged deflationary effect on the size of that institution's balance sheet and thus unleash a boatload of other unintended consequences.

rbg81's picture

Who would like to own an asset that goes down 2% per year, guaranteed?


You might do it if you run out of good options for capital preservation.  If you are convinced everything is way, way going down but the Govenment itself, then taking a slight loss to preserve the vast bulk of your capital may make sense.  Yes, you could keep it in a bank, but if you have $10M or more, it gets very cumbersome to stay under the FDIC limit for each account.  Or you could put it under your mattress and hope a fire or thief doesn't get it.  So, under some scenarios, a small haircut every year might be the best option.

Zero Govt's picture

Bumma and the rest of the stinky parasites in DC are out of their collective tiny little minds spending like this ...and the tossers behind the State curtain sucking hard as they can on Nannies nipple

is there a loonatic asylum big enough to house all these criminals? ...if there isn't rope is a short swift answer

LetThemEatRand's picture

The $1.2 Trillion increase is actually less than the net worth of just the top 400 richest people in the U.S.    The 4 people who inherited the WalMart fortune (who never had to work a day in their lives) could pay a good chunk of it themselves.   I wonder how much cash GE saved by paying zero taxes last year.    Of course its the rest of us that will get to foot this bill as suggested by Santeli.  But that is by design.   They print it, they keep it, they spend it, we get the bill.

Michael's picture

I'm just glad my kids are exempt from paying back that national debt of the US.

viahj's picture

haha, i fooled them...i don't have any kids!

Van Halen's picture

It's gosh-darn embarrassing that the Japanese were able to stumble into QUADRILLIONS with their debt when all we can do is trillions! Can't Timmeh do SOMETHING before he leaves? Can't Ben make us number one again?

NidStyles's picture

What's wrong with Magic The Gathering? Sure the game is populated with an over-abundance of Socialist idiots, but not of uss are that way.

Max Fischer's picture



Since you're a self-proclaimed silver bug, do you know how ironic it is that you like Santelli?  Aside from CNBC, do you not understand who he works for and where he's spent his 30+ year career?  You ever heard of a magin hike?   

As for me, I liked Santelli until his infamous rant about "losers" who can't pay their mortgage - typical smug, Wall Street "master of the universe" attitude. Whether it was deliberate or not, he was one of the initial players in duping Americans into deflecting the blame of this crisis away from Wall Street and onto the middle class.  With that rant, he unwittingly became the leader of the Tea Party movement for a short while.   

More than anything, though, his rant was a springboard for the new class warfare that began in America, which was also at the heart of the Tea Party.  Us versus them has been the theme ju jour, but instead of "them" being Wall Street, "them" became each other.  Americans got duped into fighting and blaming one another, rather than blaming the plutocrats who sucked all the marrow from this country. Fuck everyone on food stamps!  Losers!  Fuck dumb Americans who got duped by teaser rates!  Losers!  Fuck retired teachers, police officers and firefighters who have overly lucrative retirement plans!  Greedy bastards!  Fuck unions for trying to make more than their slave counterparts in third world countries! Fuck the baby boomers who want their social security... it's just a ponzi scheme, you idiots!  Fuck losers who can't afford health insurance!  Fuck anyone who can't take care of themselves!  Fuck anyone with a sense of entitlement! 

Over the past three years, Americans have been duped into fighting against each other, rather than against the true culprits of the crisis. I would say that Santelli's rant was the official start of the class warfare which has divided our country like never before. It was the siren call for many Tea Partiers to get off their Lazy Boy Chair and, for the first time, go to town meetings and protest one another.  I'm sure he didn't intend for the divisiveness that ensued, but that's how his rant was understood and disseminated. While Main Street remains at each other's throats, Wall Street is, for the most part, back to normal.      

Max Fischer

Crummy's picture

The IRS uses them. It looks sort of like a hemorrhoid donut, but it goes on your lap.


11b40's picture

Good points, Max.....OWS is busy re-channeling the 99%'s anger.  Just wait until summer - the summer of discontent is coming to America.


Bob Sacamano's picture

"Them" is the federal government.  

But you are correct in the sense that the "federal government" starts to seem equivalent to "us" for the majority of Americans look to the federal government to provide their basic needs and/or think the federal government should provide such for all who demand it.   I am not in that majority.   

Max Fischer's picture


Did our government play a role in the crisis?  Yes, absolutely.  But not nearly to the degree in which the right-wing would have you believe.   

The obsessive demonization of our government by the right-wing reminds me of the lunacy surrounding McCarthyism.  Not since the 1950's have we seen such extreme fear, paranoia, conspiracy and lunacy about phantom enemies and villians as we do today about the federal government. The manner in which the right-wing has portrayed our government parallels the irrational, borderline schizophrenic fear of communism during the 1950's. It's fucking ridiculous, yet a huge portion of the gullible public chomps that bait with no regard to actual truths or realities. We've been told that there is a great evil at our doorstep*, blood will run through the streets, RELOAD, and that the presidency of Obama is as great of a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.** And of course ObamaCare is really just a sininster ploy to bring death panels and eugenics to America! Every day, we hear endless references to socialism, Marxism, communism, Obama is a Muslim terrorist, government vaccinations cause retardation, our children are being indoctrinated.... etc. etc. etc. 

It's fucking RIDICULOUS!

Everyone is being duped that the enemy to the American way of life is either irresponsible "losers" or politicians who are secretly trying to transform America into a communist social project. Meanwhile, the real threat to this country continues unabated.   

*Glenn Beck

**Newt Gingrich



CompassionateFascist's picture

ZOG  (Crony Capitalism + State Socialism) = Max Fischer.

11b40's picture

Tell me again how we managed to get bogged down in 2 unfunded wars?

Tell me who controlled the House of Representatives for almost all of the past 18 years?

Who was it that was going to have an "ownership" society?

I could go on, but what's the point?  Go ahead. Cast your vote for Newt.

Ms. Erable's picture

Your ignorance would be amusing if it weren't for the probability that you vote. Here's an idea for you (since you're only capable of parrot-like retention and regurgitation); take your right-wing, your left-wing and a drumstick and shove them all up your ass (same goes for your buddy Max). Remove them when you realize 'your team' is playing for the same side as 'their team'.

Max Fischer's picture



Anytime I criticize the right, and you idiots interpret that as an endorsement of the left, it proves that your mind only exists within the two party paradigm. No doubt, both parties pander to the 1%.  My two posts above are just comments on how the right-wing deceives everyone.  That is not to be interpreted as an endorsement of the left.  I focus on the right because the hypocrisy and lunacy of the right is richer and deeper than the left.  In my mind, they're vastly more despicable than the left - crooks, liars and charlatans... all of them.  I also focus on the right because ZeroHedge often appears to be an echo chamber of right-wing ideologies, and a different voice is desperately needed around here. Even the Ron Paul fanatics continually barf up the same right-wing lunacy. 



Ms. Erable's picture

Max, you lack critical thinking and reading comprehension skills.You really think that saying the equivalent of "both of them are whores, but MY whore will only give you herpes and syphillis; THEIR whore will give you gonnorhea and AIDS' makes you look any less a dipshit partisan cheeerleader? In case you don't understand, let me continue with the metaphor: WE DON'T WANT EITHER OF YOUR SKANKY WHORES.

P.S. have a nice weekend, and go fuck yourself.

LetThemEatRand's picture


I read your comments and Max's comments, and I am quite certain that you are the one who lacks critical thinking skills.    Your argument is a classic straw man, which is a favorite of those who lack critical thinking skills and/or who know that their own position is inherently untenable and thus who seek approval from those who lack critical thinking skills.

Ms. Erable's picture

I neither seek nor require anyone's approval save my own, and your interpretation of my post carries as much weight as a bottomless basket. Go troll someone else for political diatribes - you're not even worth this much effort.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Look, I can continue to have a discussion wherein I ignore the substance of the argument against me and yet sound like I think I have the upper hand because I use the word 'troll'!"  Nicely done, Mis-erable.  By which I mean, nicely done for those who lack critical thinking skills.  Read Rand much? I'll bet you're a big fan, aren't you.

Max Fischer's picture



I just - very specifically - told you that I don't endorse either party.  I'm not a democrat, nor am I trying to promote the party with less herpes.

I can't make it any clearer. 

Your mind is so entrenched in the two-party system that even AFTER I tell you that I'm not endorsing the democrats, you STILL can't wrap your brain around it.

Before I go fuck myself, could you please tell me what offended you in my post?  While you imply that you're a libertarian, you also seem offended by my anti-republican commentary.  Are you one of those right-wing pigs dressed up in libertarian clothes? 

Max Fischer, Avis in caput magnum futuens tuum cacet



Ms. Erable's picture

" I focus on the right because the hypocrisy and lunacy of the right is richer and deeper than the left.  In my mind, they're vastly more despicable than the left - crooks, liars and charlatans... all of them."

So, you're saying that the left's hipocrisy and lunacy isn't as bad as the right's version of the same thing - as if just a little of either is any better than lots of both. Maybe you have a short memory, but who instituted the Feral Reserve, the 16th Amendment, the first massive devaluation of the USD and outright theft of real money in the US, committed the US to WWI under suspect pretenses, and kicked off that little foray into Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia? 'Crooks, liars, and charlatans', indeed.

I can sit here and play tit-for-tat with you over which side is worse all night long. Problem for you is that I'd be pointing out the douche nozzles on both sides of that coin, where I only see you pay lip service to the idea that there may be bad people or ideas on the left, but the right is just completely out to rob you blind, kill you, and rape your corpse. At least you admit that the problem is in your mind in the statement quoted above.

Keep cheerleading, Max, and keep your birdshit to yourself.

island's picture

Max - For what it is worth, know you aren't alone.  Most people just aren't as perceptive and intelligent.

KickIce's picture

"I also focus on the right because ZeroHedge often appears to be an echo chamber of right-wing ideologies"

If by right wing ideology you mean less government is better than I would agree and I would consider myself in that camp.  I would also be in the camp that respects our founders and values the Constitution. 

The problem with being on the right these days is that you are not being represented in Washington, although there are many who claim to represent you.  Take abolishing the Fed, something I think several ZHers have in common, that view is hardly so be seen in DC. 


11b40's picture

@Ms. Erable.

Would you care to discuss any of the issues, or do you simply want to engage in elementary name calling?

I have a history of posts essentially saying both parties are just 2 cheeks of the same ass, and will be happy to debate the points as time permits.

GenX Investor's picture

I like the talking head reaction when RS says that this has been covered ZERO times in the news, and he turns around to say, well there are a lot of other things going on right now...  Nice, don't focus on the world imploding, nothing to see here folks... this is not important to focus on...

mholzman's picture


No. Uncle Warren doesn't really want to "pay it down." Through Berkshire Hathaway, Uncle Warren was financially involved in numerous, large residential developments that were highly priced and poorly built. Today, vacant. Some now in the hands of Fannie & Freddie. Those developments are being supplemented through the average taxpayer and the Bernanke print machine. That's the reality of the social responsibility of Uncle Warren.


WolfePaq's picture

...Not to mention all the empty crap trailers he sold FEMA

vast-dom's picture

15 milliseconds a la HFT stylee!

stocktivity's picture

Rick Santelli ... the only CNBC talking head worth listening to.

Denver768's picture

Agreed. Who was the ass clown laughing in the background about it getting 0 coverage from media.   Wake up America. This shit is real and it isn't funny.

An economy that requires a continual increase in debt to even *survive* is artifical, completely and totally.  When this final sovereign bubble bursts, we're f'd