CNBC's Rick Santelli's impromptu and impassioned revolt against the Obama administration's housing bailout quickly spread to Europe, dividing popular opinion clean down the middle and igniting red-hot political debate.
Many praised Santelli's showmanship, with co-CNBC anchor Steve Sedgwick tipping the performance for an Oscar this weekend and one viewer urging him to run for US president. But the underlying debate of whether a housing bill should bailout irresponsible borrowers was highly contentious.
Europe Weighs In
Here are some of the highlights from the email box of CNBC’s European shows:
- Santelli “is being urged to greater and greater extremes, I suppose by management. The US in general panders to its right-wing conservative audience with biased coverage,” Meriel wrote in from Paris, France.
- “Santelli is right on … All this government intervention is messing with the perception of value and even with all the intervention house prices will find a value where people will be able to afford them,” Ron wrote in from Thailand.
- “After 8 years of Republican failure maybe Rick and company should reflect on this failure and come forward with constructive comment rather than ranting and pandering to their audience,” he added.
- David from Cyprus, who describes himself as “a saver who sees his money being given away,” wrote in agreement of Santelli and defends people who “do the right thing.”
- “CNBC in the US seems increasingly to be a refuge for embittered Republicans following Obama's election,” Ross wrote in to Squawk Box Europe.
- Rick Santelli is a sign of the tax revolt that is coming, said James. While Pete simply thought that “Rick rules.”
The Expert Examines Tea
“The Obama package is intended clearly … to sort out the entire economy – there are going to be winner and losers,” Anthony Fry, senior managing director from Evercore Partners, told CNBC.
Fry, guest host of Squawk Box Europe, added that “the help is being given not to the people who have done the right thing, but the people who have done all the wrong things.”