A BBC video gone viral is leaving investors wondering whether Goldman Sachs will make a killing while “the savings of millions of people are going to vanish.”
While stock markets around the world have surged in response to a plan to prevent an economic train wreck through a European version of the U.S. TARP program, Alessio Rastani, identified by the BBC as an independent trader, has transfixed investors with a prophecy of doom delivered with a candor and plausibility that led the BBC interviewer to say she saw the jaws of all around her drop.
The ensuing brouhaha kindled across the blogosphere has triggered debate not only about the likelihood of Rastani’s doomsday prediction but about whether the whole thing might have been a hoax by an anticapitalist group called the Yes Men.
The interview opens with Rastani panning the European rescue plan: “The market is gonna crash, and it’s gonna fall pretty hard. Because markets are ruled right now by fear. Investors, the big money, the smart money, I’m talking about the big funds, the big hedge funds, the institutions, they don’t buy this rescue plan, they basically … they know the market is toast … They’re moving their money away to safer assets, like Treasury bonds, 30-year bonds, and the U.S.-dollar. So, it’s not gonna work.”
With a sincerity and earnestness in every twitch of his empathetic face and every halting exhalation, Rastani added: “Personally, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for three years … I go to bed every night and I dream of another recession. When the market crashes … if you know what to do, if you have the right plan set up, you can make a lot of money from this.”
It was then that jaws dropped in the BBC studio, but Rastani–honestly or deceptively–played perfectly to the global anxiety about the economic crisis: “This economic crisis is like a cancer. If you just wait and wait thinking this is gonna go away … just like a cancer it’s gonna grow and it’s gonna be too late. What I would say to anybody is: Get prepared! This is not the time right now for wishful thinking that the government is gonna sort things out. The governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world. Goldman Sachs does not care about this rescue package and neither does the big funds.
“The first thing people should do is to protect their assets. Protect what they have. Because in less than 12 months, my prediction is, the savings of millions of people is gonna vanish.”