HOAX: Trader dreams of Euro crash, tells BBC: "Governments don't rule the world, Goldman-Sachs does"

Update: Alert readers point that that this gentleman isn't a trader, he's a self-described "attention-seeker"

Update 2: The Yes Men deny responsibility: "If you’d like to see the human face of the human perspective—the perspective of the 99% victimized by our demented and out-of-control financial system—come join the occupation of Wall Street"

In this telling BBC clip, a news presenter is rendered virtually speechless as a stock-trader explains that for traders like him, a Eurozone crash would be a godsend, since someone always makes money in crashes; he then goes on to state that it doesn't matter whether governments intervene in the Euro or not, because "governments don't rule the world, Goldman-Sachs does."

(via Memex)



  1. This video is starting to go viral. First, who is this dude? There’s no name. He’s just a “stock
    trader?” So…. ? Why should anyone believe this is anything else than just some suit’s opinion? Second, suppose he is credible and right, wouldn’t this just be the latest salvo in the perennial tug-of-war between the wealthiest people in the world, and everyone else?

  2. Kind of slow on the uptake, huh? Trader is not a trader: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8792829/BBC-financial-expert-Alessio-Rastani-Im-an-attention-seeker-not-a-trader.html

  3. One possibility thrown around this week was that this was a Yes Men prank, though they have continued to refuse to take credit and most recently penning a piece in the Guardian saying “[Alessio] Rastani is small potatoes, but he’s a real trader. And he said nothing that would suggest otherwise; he simply described what he does, more honestly than a true insider would, but quite accurately.”


  4. I agree with him, attention-seeker or not.

    Austerity doesn’t work. If we don’t start ignoring the IMF and the Chicago School’s way of thinking, we’re all pretty much screwed. Or at least those of us who don’t build guillotines for a living.

  5. Going on the offerings in his Twitter account, my money’s on his trying to attract panicked customers for his own investment services. If true, as douchey PR moves go, this would be genius.

  6. Goldman Sachs isn’t the only game in town.  Sure, GS has had influence in high ranking areas of government, which is dangerous when it comes to policy and decision making.  But the state of the markets and their direction is like a reflection on the group-think of major financial institutions the world over, in response to data and sentiment from the economic environment.

    Also, saying GS rules the world is ridiculously over-blown, as is his idea that ‘savings will just disappear in 12 months’.  The interviewer should have pressed him on that, because the evidence is probably no more than an outlandish conspiracy theory that he’s cooked up in his own time.

  7. I kind of agree with him — I think things have to get worse before they can get better. Extricating our current system from the maws of GS and other banks seems nigh impossible, particularly with all the lobbyists. I’m very piqued by the OWS movement and I hope this develops into something bigger.
    Don’t get me wrong – a crash / depression would SUCK MAJOR BUTT and if it’s basically a hail mary play for improvement; but I don’t see any way to fix things inline. :/

  8. Whenever you have an entire industry based around “financial market speculation” instead of producing anything meaningful towards the betterment of society, you’re in trouble.

    Whenever that industry becomes so large and powerful it’s tentacles become entrenched in every industry as well as the political process of “democratic” nations worldwide, you’re screwed.

  9. I’ve heard *real* traders say the same thing about a number of disasters and events.  Even if it’s a hoax, it’s sadly a true reflection regardless.

  10. It’s NOT A HOAX, you idiots!!!  He’s an small time trader who has a small operation and tries to help other traders.  He’s also an aspiring author.  His name is Alessio Rostani and he has his own blog (http://www.leadingtrader.com/) and just went on CNN to discuss the previous controversy:  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/alessio-rastani-makes-us-prime-time-tv-circuit

    Boing Boing should do more research before writing people off as hoaxes.

    1. Well, if the Telegraph is to be believed, he _did_ say that he is an “attention seeker” and that trading is “not my business.” Who are we to doubt his own words?

  11. Christ, what an asshole. When people like this finally manage to permanently and totally fuck the system that they (and us, incidentally) rely upon for living, our only satisfaction will be in stringing him up from a lamp post. I’m kind of looking forward to that part.

  12. His inarticulate words about seeking attention is about telling as many people as possible the truth about how screwed up the economic system is.  He’s merely trying to protect people’s assets during a crash.  Think about it, who in media ISN’T seeking attention?  He’s trying to get his word out… they are not lies.  He’s NOT SELLING ANYTHING.  Do your research!

  13. Man speaks the truth and we all pass it off as some kind of comedy hoax…

    It’d be like still believing the world is flat as you float in space and watch it spin under you…

    1. I must agree with you.  If the proverbial Messiah came, people would not believe it either and probably think he was a self-help author.

  14. I don’t see how we can say this guy is any less credible than any ‘expert’ analyst still babbling today who was giving everything a thumbs up in early 2008.  Suffice it to say the credibility gap of the financial analysis industry is considerably large.

    1. @boingboing-2562b3fcf3a15d7926bde2ff91919d3d:disqus ,

      I don’t see how we can say this guy is any less credible than any ‘expert’ analyst still babbling today

      Perhaps I’ve missed something, but the brouhaha isn’t credibility, or even whether what he said was true or not, but that it was an insider saying, effectively, “all those things you on the outside suspected; yep, totally true!”  If he’s an insider, it’s a confession; if he’s just one of us, it’s an accusation.
      It’s the same as if someone went on CNN claiming to be a NYC cop and “admitting” that they’re trained to violate civil rights; if it turned out that he’s really a Macy’s security guard, the admission is much less meaningful to the general public, independent of the veracity of the statement.

      1. No, the REAL “brouhaha” is that Boing Boing is discrediting this guy as a hoax when he most certainly is NOT a hoax.  It’s real.  How do I get direct contact to Cory Doctorow to enlighten him and change the title?

        1. I don’t really have an opinion on this guy and maintain that his motivations aren’t all that important.

          That said, I think we should always resist the temptation to mistake incompetence for malice.  In other words, if he is offering a service then the fact that he’s awful at it does not mean he’s deceiving us.

  15. Finnagain, you obviously know nothing about stock markets.  Every single stock trade has a buyer and a seller.  He’d rather have the little guy be on the right side of that trade when the s**t hits the fan.  Do you prefer that banks/brokers/hedge funds be the winners in a global downturn?  Really? He’s not the one you should be dreaming of stringing up to a lamp post!

    1. Are you aware that opening with an insult is suboptimal for attention spans? You’re 3 for 3 in this thread. 

  16. I don’t care who he is, he’s right about what he’s saying (if not the exact dates and facts, the general state of the world economy.)

    The question is, what do we, non-traders, do as preparation? Those of us with some ethics have no desire to profit from a global economic catastrophe, so following his advice is out of the question. Do we leave our money in small, local banks? Do we join the gold rushers? Stuff cash under our mattress? I have no interest in getting rich- I just want to keep my hard-earned savings. Even this modest goal may prove impossible.

    1. In an economic collapse, gold and cash become useless.

      Lead, however, becomes a precious metal. Especially if it’s put into some brass, with some explosive powder, and an explosive primer.

  17. After watching the video and reading these comments, the ambiguity in his performance is getting delicious. It’s becoming like really good, real-world-as-the-stage performance art, exposing something about the hall of shifting mirrors that the world markets have become. And mirrors are brittle, too; they’re vulnerable to smashing. It’s like a “postmodern” version of the little boy calling out the naked emperor.

  18. Troll or not, “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will
    eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such
    time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic
    and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally
    important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for
    the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the
    truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    Most people blindly believe what the news tells them even if the person on the news only has the smallest reputation for truth telling. It really doesn’t matter if what he says is true, what matters is how many people will believe it and repeat it.

  19. I’m just another small potatoes trader/investor.  I actually agree with Alessio’s comments.  I have no bone to pick other than people slamming this guy’s credibility for simply telling the truth.  He has defended himself on CNN, his own blog shows he’s just trying to help small time traders, yet Cory Doctorow labels him a hoax.  Cory has some ‘splaining to do.  I tried emailing Cory via his personal blog because I can’t seem to find a link to contact him here.  My agenda (if you can call it that) is to simply prevent innocent people from getting slammed for telling the truth, especially from a very popular blog like Boing Boing.

    1. how is calling the video a hoax slamming anyone? The way i see it, what you have embarked upon is much closer to what you accuse.

  20. http://youtu.be/V2kgK9ElB2E

    Comments by Independent trader Alessio Rastani while on the BBC sparked outrage across the world when he claimed Goldman Sachs rules the world and another recession would bring him more money. Rather than ignoring this man’s words, we’ll take a closer look with Economic Analyst Gonzalo Lira.

  21. Yes,  Cory, why is this labeled as a hoax?  The man is not claiming to be anyone else and he’s telling the truth as he sees it.   Everything he says is true:
    1.  Traders want to make money and don’t care if the economy collapses
    2. Goldman Sachs runs the world

    1. Because the rest of the media assumed he was someone professional, connected, and inside the loop. The coverage of him was a hoax. I heard about this without ANY of the context provided here, and here is the only place I have seen any of that context that you seem to say is lacking.

      So the word choice isn’t the one you would prefer. I suggest you get your own blog, and blog the heck out of it! It wouldn;t be the first obtuse anti BB blog.

      1. Actually what we have on our hands, and I’m sure Cory was only inadvertently aiding, was a concerted effort to shoot the messenger. 

        What this actual, real-life, independent trader said was only shocking because it was said on a mainstream media program.  Most people aren’t exposed to this information, which has been said repeatedly by the likes of Chris Hedges, Matt Taibbi, Joe Stiglitz, Galbraith, Henry Ford, Thomas Jefferson (http://www.themoneymasters.com/the-money-masters/famous-quotations-on-banking/) etc. 

        This is old news to the readers of nakedcapitalism.com.

        It wasn’t a hoax.  He was presented as an independent trader from London.  He is.  He said some things which were shocking to the presenters.  There was an almost immedidate reaction attempting to discredit him.  He was falsely accused of being a part of the Yes Men, and that he was the same Yes Man who earlier duped the BBC by claiming to be a spokesman for Dow, when it was obvious he wasn’t.

        Even US Senator Dick Durbin has admitted that the banks control DC:
        “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking
        crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful
        lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”

  22. The equation remains the same. Start a portfolio when you’re young, and progressively become less aggressive as you approach retirement. Ignore as many douches along the way as possible.

  23. The real takeaway, here, is that if you speak out against GS on the air, the response will be the swift publication of your home address (with picture, for easy identification), your wife’s name, and your financial information. Power Word:  Real Name, indeed.

  24. This guy is my hero.The billionaires at Goldman Sachs and other financial firms hate it when the workers who build their private jets and who tend to their gardens manage to save a portion of their meager wages, so Goldman Sachs has put everyone in debt so workers’ wages go straight back into their coffers. Pretty smart! 

  25. I’ve read about this guy on a few sites now, and I’m baffled by comments that love to back him up for “speaking the truth!” Traders are speculators – when did publicly speculating a possible future outcome become “truth”. All speculation is truth then until proven otherwise?

    Also – is this guy American? Who’s sponsoring his “work” visa over there.

    1. America? Where are you getting this from? He was interviewed by the freaking BBC (hint: the first “B” stands for “British”) and lives in London.

      Also, why the heck would it matter?

  26. If you are a hedge fund trader who bets on a downward-moving market and can convince everyone to panic because this is a downward-moving market, you will make a LOT of money.

    The more people you convince, the more the market moves.  The more the market moves in the direction you are betting on it moving, obviously, the better you do.

    It is interesting, however, that we have done such an excellent job of socializing risk while the profits of the banking and investment industries continue to be private.  Goldman-Sachs is likely a very good investment at this point, or any bank that remains “too big to fail.”  Because the ones that are still too big to fail are STILL, by definition, not going to be allowed to fail.


    1. Yes, he was probably talking up his book. but that doesn’t mean a crash wasn’t likely before his appearance.  He’s not the first to make these claims.

  27. It’s not that simple. Yes the market is going down but you won’t make money shorting it because it’s not that black and white otherwise the majority not the minority would make money consistently. You see bear markets are famous for violent bear market rallies that get turbo charged by all the stuck shorts who are covering their supposedly no-brainer positions. Guess what you cover or get stopped out and then the market continues to tank just like you thought it would except you’re no longer in a trade and you just lost a lot of money even though you were right about the overall market direction. See how easy this is? There are a million variations and traps out there just waiting to take your money. In fact program trading algorithms pray on these ill timed human tendencies. So in a nut shell when it comes to making money via the markets those who talk usually don’t know and those who know don’t talk.  

    1. That’s exactly right. I lost some money going short on the 23rd after reading articles in the WSJ and other places all about how this time the market is really going to tank and here are a bunch of solid fundamental reasons to be bearish.  This was followed by one of the biggest rallys in the last year over the next couple days.  The market is expert at squeezing both shorts and longs any time they have a supposedly “no-brainer” position.  I still think the signs point towards the market going further down over the next month, but who knows.

  28. Shoot the messenger, indeed, by labelling the post HOAX when there is none. 
    Only an indepedent trader giving is opinion.

    Dax Wagner seems to be surprised by Boingboing point of view…. LOL, a few post below, you’ll find an entry about Thermite reaction on 9/11 due to… molten aluminium + water

  29. From the man himself:

    “They approached me,” he told The Telegraph. “I’m an attention seeker. That is the main reason I speak. That is the reason I agreed to go on the BBC. Trading is a like a hobby. It is not a business. I am a talker. I talk a lot. I love the whole idea of public speaking.”

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