Alessio Rastani, who calls himself an independent stock market trader, in an interview on the BBC News offered his opinion on the Greek bailout, in which the 17 nations of the euro zone will be voting on a rescue package for Greece and maybe other nations in an attempt to fix the financial crisis.
President Obama said in a town hall on Monday that the European crisis was “scaring the world,” while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called it the “most serious risk now confronting the world economy.” Geithner urged European governments to agree to the bailout plan.
Mr. Rastani’s response to those statements was that Goldman Sachs rules the world not governments and that Goldman Sachs “don’t care about this rescue package” because they know “the stock market is finished” and they “don’t really care” about the Euro.
Rastani said that people must start protecting their assets and working to defend their own self-interest, of which he freely admitted he’s doing. “If I see an opportunity to make money, I go for that… (Traders) don’t really care how they’re going to fix the economy, our job is to make money.”
Rastani warned viewers to “get prepared” for the inevitable: “The savings of millions of people are going to vanish” in less than a year. He said he had been “dreaming of this moment for three years … I go to bed every night and I dream of another recession”.
Twitter was abuzz with sceptics claiming Mr Rastani was merely impersonating a city trader and was even a member of political hoaxers the Yes Men.
When asked by the Guardian, via email, to respond to the allegation that he is a member of the Yes Men prank group, Rastani chose his words carefully. However, a BBC internal investigation has concluded that Rastani is authentic.
A BBC spokesman said: “We’ve carried out detailed investigations and 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.”
The Yes Men denied Rastani had any connection to their group, putting out a statement that he was, in fact, a trader.