Top Freak-outs of the Financial Crisis (So Far)

"I like your tie, Charles. Give it to me." Photo: NYULocal

Bloggers quickly dubbed Rick Santelli’s denunciation of Obama’s housing bill on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange last Thursday the “Rant of the Year,” and we won’t quibble with that distinction. As egomaniacal, grandstanding, televised acts of running off the rails go, his performance was highly entertaining, and had all the hallmarks of its genre: Distortion of features, raised voice, visibly freaked-out colleagues, a lapse into the nonsensical. But so long as we’re giving out awards, we think it’s only fair to recognize some of the other fab freak-outs we’ve had the good fortune to witness since the financial crisis began. From our own James Cramer, who kicked them all off with a now-legendary rant against Ben Bernanke way back in August 2007, through the mayhem at this month’s Madoff hearings, here are six classic meltdowns.