CNBC’s Santelli Decries Anti-Wall Street Sentiment: ‘Maybe We Should Shut Wall Street Down for 24 Hours,’ ‘Who Is John Galt?’

Monday on CNBC, network CME Group floor reporter Rick Santelli sounded off on the anti-Wall Street sentiment that has been prevalent during the election season.

Santelli said this is now the time of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and floated the idea of what would happen if Wall Street went “Galt” for 24 hours.

Partial transcript as follows:

You know what that big number was? It was 1957. It’s not the year I was born. I’m a little older than that. I wish it was the year I was born. It was the year one of my favorite books was written, “Atlas Shrugged.” Ayn Rand. Originally it was supposed to be called “The Strike,” but her husband talked her out of it.

The reason I bring it up today, I look at the world, there are so many issues, so many issues. Don’t just take regulation and energy and fracking. It’s all in “Atlas Shrugged,” all of it. State of Colorado, Rearden Metal, how he made it with some magic kinetic energy.

But, what was the point of the book? The point of the book was, those that made the trains run on time. Those that had the big patents. Those that had the intellectual property. They got fed up. They couldn’t do their job. And the government forced certain businesses to buy inferior products from other businesses. Any of this sound familiar? Think Apple, think the FBI. We are living “Atlas Shrugged.” Why is it so important? Because I would hate for the country to have that rhetorical question, where is John Galt, who is John Galt? John Galt is all of us.

We need to understand that in the end, if we’re going to make a positive difference in the future, we can’t have election cycles where one side, the middle and the right side, they talk trash. And I don’t mean they’re talking trash in the form of what they want people to do, how they want people to act. I’m talking about whether it’s entitlements, whether it’s fracking, whether it’s energy. You know what, all the banks and Wall Streeters that get this big bulls-eye in their back, read “Atlas Shrugged.” You know why? Because maybe Ayn Rand had a good idea.

Maybe we should shut Wall Street down for 24 hours, see how everybody who blames Wall Street for everything likes that. Maybe we should shut energy down for 24 hours, see how people like that. Because in the end, these are great industries and they are run well. Can you imagine if our energy companies were run like third-world companies with all the corruption? Let them have their 10 percent return on capital. Small price to pay. Lights go on every time I hit the switch. Gang, back to you.

(h/t RCP Video)

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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