SHOCK DOCTRINE: Hoax Or Horrible Truth?

DAILY MAIL: He astonished BBC viewers [Monday] by describing his hopes of profiting from a recession, adding: ‘The governments don’t rule the world – Goldman Sachs rules the world.’ MORE

DAILY SABOTAGE: Invited onto the BBC to discuss the Greek debt crisis Rastani (identified only as an ‘independent trader’) sat in a satellite studio with an image of Canary Wharf behind him and pretended that he was our friend. He told us that the financial crisis was going to get worse, that we should protect our assets and (worst of all) that if we knew how to play the markets there was money to be made from stock market crashes. Listen, Rastani – You’re not our friend, you’re not anyone’s friend. You spend your days making money from the misfortune of others, from the mismanagement of governments and from a system that benefits those prepared to live life as evil shits and punishes everyone else. You went on TV to crow about how you profit from misery and no doubt you skipped merrily back to your desk running a gauntlet of high fives from your colleagues. You are probably very pleased with yourself for being such a clever little boy. I’m here to tell you, laddy, that all you’ve done is make everyone on the planet want to punch you in your self-satisfied mush. MORE

WASHINGTON POST: Still others questioned if the whole thing was a masterful prank. Forbes contacted Rastani, who stood by his claim of being an independent trader, but writer Emily Lambert pointed to another BBC interview in 2007 in which a so-called representative from Dow Jones admitted to the Bhopal disaster in India. The representative, who went by the name Jude Finisterra, turned out to be a member of the Yes Men, a group of pranksters that target corporations. Finisterra bears a strong resemblance to Rastani. The Yes Men denied Rastani had any connection to their group, putting out a statement that he was, in fact, a trader. MORE

THE YES MEN: Despite widespread speculation, he isn’t a Yes Man. He’s a real trader who is, for one reason or another, being more honest than usual. Who in big banking doesn’t bet against the interests of the poor and find themselves massively recompensed—if not by the market, then by humongous taxpayer bailouts? Rastani’s approach has been completely mainstream for several years now; we must thank him for putting a human face on it yesterday. 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. Michael Moore did so  last night, and pointed out that in America, it’s just 400 people who own as much as most of the rest of us put together—and that when we decide we really want to change the rules of the game, those 400 people won’t be able to do squat about it. MORE

RELATED: By Tuesday evening, his 3½-minute interview had clocked up almost half a million hits on YouTube and, such was the candour of his comments, there was widespread speculation that it was a hoax. Seasoned City hands thought otherwise, however, and marvelled that someone had at last revealed what we all know to be true – that traders are in business to make money. Only an independent trader would have been be foolish (or publicity-hungry) enough to speak as unguardedly as Rastani; anyone employed by one of the major investment banks would have been sacked before he left the studio. In fact, the only part of the interview that did not ring true was the bit where Rastani said he wanted to help people. That part surely was a hoax.” MORE

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