[Marxism] The Yes Men: Brutally frank trader Ristani is the real deal

Fred Feldman ffeldman at verizon.net
Thu Sep 29 10:50:30 MDT 2011

To me, this was a pretty typical rap from a member of the catastrophist 
wing of the trading community. There used to be, and I assume still are 
lots of this kind of 
types issuing newsletters about get out of the stock market and into 
treasury bonds,:"buy gold" and so forth. He said nothing that I haven't 
heard many times from these characters.

The amazing thing is that he was able to talk BBC News into letting him 
give this infomercial. The guy is a very talented salesman.

(Of course, the fact that someone is a professional. catastrophist does 
not mean that the end of the world and the end of capitalism are not 
coming. They are, and I think the fall of capitalism is a whole lot 
closer than the physical end of the world.)
Fred Feldman

Sorry, but this trader's banking confession was no prank. The Yes Men 
have been blamed for Alessio Rastani's comments on the financial crisis. 
But sometimes truth outdoes satire

The Yes Men guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 September 2011 05.30 EDT
Photo caption: Trader Alessio Rastani shocked BBC viewers when said he 
‘dreams of another recession'

This week, an insignificant market trader and self-proclaimed financial 
self-help guru, Alessio Rastani, rocketed to stardom after speaking 
frankly on the BBC about the collapsing market and his plans to make 
money from it. We Yes Men heard about it right away, because soon after 
the broadcast, people started emailing from all over the world to 
congratulate us on another prank well done. They couldn't imagine that a 
real trader could possibly speak so candidly about the market, so they 
assumed Rastani was one of our posturings.

He wasn't. Rastani is small potatoes, but he's a real trader. And he 
said nothing that would suggest otherwise; he simply described what he 
does, more honestly than a true insider would, but quite accurately. 
"Every night I dream of another recession," Rastani said, and explained 
that it's possible to make huge money from a big crisis even when 
millions of others lose their life savings, and worse.

Well, duh. Don't we all know that Goldman Sachs bet against the same 
housing market they were such a big player in, and made $1bn in profit 
when the sub-prime crisis rendered millions of Americans homeless? John 
Paulson, the manager whose hedge fund was betting for Goldman, could 
have honestly said exactly what Rastani said, but of course he knew 
better – possibly because unlike Rastani, Paulson's firm had a major, 
immediate and provable impact, and there's no telling how his millions 
of victims might have reacted. Unlike Rastani, true industry insiders 
like Paulson, Geithner et al remain silent about the way their system 
works, couching it all in technical jargon and full-on deceit. They've 
been doing it for decades, and, since Ronald Reagan's day, with 
increasing consistency.

Lately, it hasn't been working so well. Something has been speaking in 
very plain language to millions of people. The crowds amassing in cities 
from New York to Athens to Paris are just the tip of the iceberg, just 
the most visible of all those who have long known, viscerally, that 
Rastani's point of view is actually mainstream. Those people also know 
that, armed with truth and awareness, anything is possible.

As Michael Moore pointed out to those occupying Liberty Plaza near Wall 
Street, in America it's just 400 people who own as much as most of the 
rest of us put together. And when the rest of us decide we really want 
to change the rules of the game, and take back this country for all the 
people, those 400 won't be able to do anything about it.

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