Trader Alessio Rastani appeared on the BBC News a couple days ago and shocked the world with his incredibly blunt and stereotype-confirming account of the recession. Among the things he said:
If I see an opportunity to make money, I go with that. For most traders, we don’t really care that much how they’re going to fix the economy, how they’re going fix the whole situation. Our job is to make money from it. And personally, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for three years. I have a confession which is: I go to bed every night and I dream of another recession. I dream of another moment like this. Why? Because people don’t seem to remember but the ’30s depression — the depression of the 1930s — wasn’t just about a market crash. There were some people who were prepared to make money from that crash. And I think anybody can do that. It isn’t just just for the elite, anybody can actually make money. It’s an opportunity.
Many people initially suspected that Rastani was a member of the Yes Men, a group of comedians (?) who impersonate corporate figures and mock their heartlessness. Their most famous appearance occurred in 2004, when one of them appeared on the BBC impersonating a Dow Chemicals spokesman and announced a $12 billion settlement for the Bhopal disaster.
When reached by Forbes for comment, Rastani denied he was a fake. “I don’t know why they think it’s a hoax. No, I am a trader absolutely. I have trader friends who could back that up. One of my mentors is a bestselling author and trader. Everyone knows me.”
The BBC also investigated that possibility, but determined Rastani was completely genuine, “[We] can’t find any evidence to suggest that the interview with Alessio Rastani was a hoax. He is an independent market trader and one of a range of voices we’ve had on air to talk about the recession.”
Basically, he’s just an ass.