Alessio Rastani was interviewed by the BBC news service yesterday about the impending global financial collapse and the video of the interview quickly went viral due to Alessio Rastani’s Patrick Bateman like tone and attitude towards the potential collapse of the Eurozone financial market. Alessio Rastani’s interview contained some delicious sound bytes such as ‘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;’ ‘Governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world;’ and ‘For most traders, it’s not about — we don’t really care that much 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.’ You can check out Alessio Rastani’s interview below:
Predictably, Alessio Rastani’s interview drew widespread outrage from most of the internet using public, eliciting responses such as ‘Spoken like a true scumbag!’ and ‘ I’m not sure that Alessio Rastani admitting that he goes to bed praying for another recession so he can make money off the misfortunes of others is really the way to win friends and influence people, outside of Wall Street. Alessio Rastani is a real douche!’
More interestingly though, people have begun to question if Alessio Rastani himself is a fictional character devised by the Yes Men – a well know culture jamming group who ‘impersonate big time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them.’ I guess a character like Alessio Rastani would loosely fit under that mandate.
This idea that Alessio Rastani might be a fictional character created by the Yes Men is based on two different pieces of evidence. Firstly, the fact that the Alessio Rastani interview is so ridiculous implies that it can’t possibly be true. Admittedly, it doesn’t seem THAT ridiculous to me that a trader like Alessio Rastani might have these opinions but it does seem a little ridiculous that they would go on the BBC and air them, so yeah, maybe that could work.
The second piece of evidence is a little more damning though, in which you can see Yes Men co-founder Andy Bichlbaum pose as a Dow spokesman named Jude Finnistera – a name equally as ridiculous as Alessio Rastani – in another BBC interview about five years ago where he accepted responsibility for a Dow chemical spill 20 years previously. Alessio Rastani and Jude Finnistera both look remarkably alike (give or take five years sure) and have similar mannerisms and inflections when talking, so you’ve gotta really view Alessio Rastania as being a fictional character. Which is disappointing as it would have been great if Alessio Rastani was real. Check out the interview with Jude Finnistera below:
If indeed Alessio Rastani himself is a fictional character as it seems then the Yes Men have to be commended for putting so much work into developing the character for this prank – Alessio Rastani’s twitter account has been active for over two years, his blog LeadingTrader.com has been online since Febraury 2010, the Alessio Rastani Facebook page has over 3000 likes and he’s been quoted in several well respected financial publications. I guess it isn’t that hard to create a fictional character like Alessio Rastani in this day and age. I guess it’s more worrying that so many people accepted that Alessio Rastani was a real person and his comments were genuine.
The funniest thing about the whole Alessio Rastani debacle though is the ineptitude of the BBC – I mean getting caught once by the Yes Men would be acceptable, but twice by the same guy pretending to be two different people!?!? Surely someone must have remembered him from the previous prank!? Get it together guys.
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