27th September 2011

Among his assertions were: "This economic crisis is like a cancer, if you just wait and wait hoping it is going to go away, just like a cancer it is going to grow and it will be too late."

However, he admitted to dreaming of yet another recession as an opportunity to make money, and not caring about how they fix the situation. "I am a trader, I don't really care about that kind of stuff – if I see an opportunity to make money, I go with that."

"Jaws have collectively dropped at what you've just said"

He implied that governments are impotent to solve the economic problems. "Governments don't rule the world; Goldman Sachs does." He adds that within the next 12 months he predicts millions of people will see their savings wiped out. But that if people act now, it is an opportunity – "People can make money from this."

Blogger Adask's Law says: "The man is so candid, it's hard to believe he's speaking on mainstream media. I doubt that he'll be invited back. I can't help wondering if he might be "disappeared" for being so honest."

Margaret comments: "Not only that, he said that Goldman Sachs runs the world, not the governments. He also said that they KNOW the stock markets are going to crash, and that all efforts to bail out and so forth are useless. While many of us know these things, as you say, his candor was breathtaking."

EconoMonitor adds: "This is not an entertaining Rick Santelli-style rant, it's a cool assessment of how the Euromarket crisis is likely to end, which he thinks is very badly. The flummoxed reaction of the BBC host suggests that the trader, Alessio Rastani, was a booking mistake."

But the question is – Spoof or truth?

Many people seem to believe that Mr Rastani is a hoax perpetrated by the Yes Man, adds FT's Alphaville.

A Reuters blog asks – Is he a ‘yes' man? If you look at his blog, his Twitter account, and his interview with Forbes, not to mention his notorious BBC interview, it's pretty clear that Alessio Rastani is, at least in part, who he says he is.

He lives in three-bedroom semi in Bexleyheath which changed hands for £200,000 in February 2009, according to Rightmove.

This hardly makes him prime candidate to conduct an elaborate hoax.

But what is a Yes Man, anyway?

The Yes Men do set up elaborate hoaxes. "However, they do so with respect to large institutions: they wouldn't put this much effort into inventing "Alessio Rastani" out of whole cloth. Mostly because there are lots of genuine traders like Alessio Rastani floating around the internet already. They trade their own money, they sometimes win and they sometimes lose, and they aspire to getting famous on the internet and selling their own trading advice," says the Reuters blog.

It adds: "That said, however, the resemblance to "Jude Finisterra" from the Yes Men is startling. Which raises the question: is it possible that Rastani is both a trader and a member of the Yes Men? And the answer there, I think, is absolutely yes."

As for his comment: "This is not a time right now for wishful thinking that governments are going to sort things out.  The governments don't rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world."

Zerohedge says: "…. the market would crash as it was now ruled by fear and that all the big players in the field know that the market was toast.

"Guess working for Goldman Sachs (GS) is probably every trader's dream gig.  And Rastani does not seem to have any GS association (our Google query did not turn up much about the man at all).  So that probably explains at least in part his apparent blind idolization of Goldman Sachs.

"Since he is supposed to be a trader, I'm not sure if he's looked at GS stock price lately.  Quite simply, if Goldman rules the world where governments around the world fail, then GS stock price should not look this ugly — down almost 50% — in the past 24 months."

More from Mindful Money:

Playing the 'what if' economics game

Market crash: The secret to investment timing

Fools Paradise: Inside 'the world’s greatest investment community'

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