If you do nothing else today, watch this three-minute clip of trader Alessio Rastani being interviewed on the BBC yesterday about the Eurozone crisis. It is one of the most astonishing things I’ve seen in ages. Quotes:
- “The Euro is gonna crash, and the markets are going to fall pretty hard.”
- “The big institutions, they don’t buy these rescue plans. They know the market is toast. They know the market is finished.”
- “See, I’m a trader. … If I see an opportunity to make money, I go with that. For most traders, we don’t care how they’re going to fix the economy, how they’re going to fix the whole situation. Our job is to make money from it. Personally, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for three years. … I go to bed every night and I dream of a moment like this, I dream of another recession.”
- “Listen, I would say this to everybody who’s watching this. This economic crisis is like a cancer. … What I would say to everybody right now is it’s not a time for wishful thinking, waiting for the government to sort everything out. The governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world. Goldman Sachs doesn’t care about this rescue package, neither does [sic] the big funds.”
- “The first thing people should do is protect their assets, protect what they have. Because in less than 12 months, my prediction is that the savings of millions of people is going to vanish. And this is just the beginning. I would say: be prepared and act now. The biggest risk people can take is not acting.”
It’s a breathtaking performance. As Yves Smith describes the man, “Rastani is the bland, reasonable face of predatory capitalism.” The man is a pirate, is what he is — but in a way, we can be grateful that this amoral creature didn’t know better than to be honest with the viewers. I think he is telling us the unvarnished truth. I don’t know that he is right about the imminent collapse — I hope he is not — but I think he is unwisely disclosing a red-in-tooth-and-claw truth about how global markets work, and about the relative powerlessness of sovereign states against the barbarians that sail the seas of international capitalism.
You cannot watch this clip and say with a straight face that naked capitalism and conservatism go hand in hand. Alessio Rastani is as inhuman and revolutionary, in his way, as any Maoist Red Guard. But you know, should what he predicts come to pass, he had better have secure passage to a safe haven booked, because he’ll be the first one up against the wall when the mobs take over.
UPDATE: There’s some speculation that he might be a prankster, but so far, it looks like the guy is who he says he is.