Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 26, 2011

Goldman Sachs rules the world

Filed under: capitalist pig,financial crisis — louisproyect @ 11:20 pm

The Yes Men deny any involvement:

Rastani is not in Liberty Plaza (#occupywallstreet)

By Andy Bichlbaum on Sep 27 2011 – 9:56am Tagged:

The Yes Men wish to commend Mr. “Alessio Rastani” for his masterful performance as “trader” on BBC World yesterday. Mr. Rastani’s real name is Granwyth Hulatberi; he once appeared on CNBC MarketWrap as a “representative” of the WTO. Well done, Granwyth! You’re getting better and better.

Just kidding. We’ve never heard of Rastani. 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.

* * * *

It looks like the Yes Men pranked  BBC once again!

* * * *

Trader Or Prankster? We Called Alessio Rastani And Asked

Yesterday a purported independent trader going by the name Alessio Rastani appeared on BBC and said some delicious things, namely that he’s been dreaming about a recession and that Goldman Sachs rules the world.

Gawker promptly called him a “sociopath.” My colleague at Forbes said he might be a psychopath.  Some people commenting on his Facebook page called him a “muppet,” a “nasty little self-publicist” and a “totally honest bastard who wants to rise to the top of [on] the rest of the world’s misery.” Another suggested that he die.

But then talk circulated that Rastani might be a member of Yes Men, a collective of impersonators. Was his little talk a hoax? When I reached Rastani in London to ask, he spouted some vague wisdom, mentioned his “trader friends,” and insisted that trading is his obsession. He started off the conversation:

AR: I had something to tell you guys. The guy who wrote [on Forbes] mistakenly wrote that I’m a Wall Street trader. I’m not an institutional trader. I wouldn’t dream of ever doing that. I trade my own money, my own account. That’s what I always wanted to do. I like the idea of not having a boss. I did work for one institution, but I realized I want to do it for myself. I just started, and I worked with some of the best traders in the world. I saw how they were doing things. Eventually I developed my own style.



  1. “I’m dreaming of another recession.”

    Wow. But the hubris of this guy is amazing. Guys like him always get burned in the end.

    Comment by Richard Estes — September 26, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

  2. I love his candor too. His hubris is indeed amazing and at the same time typical — but guys like this definitely do NOT get burned in the end unless younger versions of guys like me have the strength & organizational wherewithall to one, two, three — heave their rigormortan corpses onto barricade tire fires amidst a revolution that has behind it the backing of the 90% that has almost nothing — versus the 10% that have almost everything.

    Yea, yea, yea I know it’d be nice to predict a less odious transformation of this iniquitous social arrangement but in a land where property relations were historically settled in battles that slaughtered tens of thousands in a single day I forsee a time in the not too distant future when the cops at home, which are the same as the cops we send abroad, side with the masses against the 10% and then the divy up of the spoils (enough to make 300 million people millionaires) will proceed in an equitable fashion.

    Once that’s settled then we can make everybody in the 3rd world a millionaire too!

    Oh yes, there will be right wing & even liberal survivors who wail that making everybody on Earth a millionaire will create a society of sloth — for who will have incentive to scrub the toilet bowls in the restrooms at “the turn” on the Pebble Beach golf course?

    To that we reply that those social problems pale into comparison to a world in which over 30,000 children a day die of perfectly preventable diseases and malnutrition according to W.H.O — the UN’s World Health Organization circa stats from 20 years ago — which doubtles have changed little today — and are undoubtedly worse with the collapse of the Soviets.

    Time to re-read Jack London’s “The Iron Heel” if you all want to get a glimpse into our future.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — September 27, 2011 @ 1:55 am

  3. Are we certain this guy is legit? He could be a new member of the Yes Men screwing with the Beeb’s tiny, tiny brain….

    Comment by strelnikov2 — September 27, 2011 @ 5:20 am

  4. I’m not sure how anything he said was particularly shocking. He’s simply predicting that the contemplated government interventions will be inadequate, that the real power lies with GS (and others), and that all the big, leading investors know this and are/will act on it. He calls this situation a “cancer”–that is, it is destructive and it has metastasized. It’s diagnosis, not an endorsement. You could read his “dream of another recession” as cynicism in the face of a system that is broken/breaking and he, individually, can’t do anything about. (We’re screwed, why not make some money?)
    Of course, he has a limited moral and political imagination, but that’s hardly some special feature of investor/traders.

    Comment by Slocum — September 27, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  5. #3 I wondered that to. It is brilliant either way but in fact the guy himself hasn’t fully grasped the truly terminal nature of the crisis when he talks about buying government bonds and shit. It is a lot more fucked than he thinks but his `protect’ yourself advice does portend the truly vicious class struggle that is slowly being unleashed in the West as imperialist capitalism fails and the super profits that once reduced class struggle to a minimum via the spreading of a few crumbs vanish.

    Comment by David Ellis — September 27, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  6. Right. He said buy treasury bonds, the things that were just downgraded.

    The physics of this crisis means a powerful resistance movement is bound to emerge from the odious austerity measures certain to come.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — September 27, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  7. Karl, the downgrade didn’t mean or do a damn thing. Investors actually rushed to buy them: http://www.investmentu.com/2011/August/debt-downgrade-impact.html

    This guy knows what he is talking about, although the notion that “anyone” can make money on an economic contraction is laughable. You can’t use food stamps to short a stock, buy futures, or do anything like that.

    Comment by Binh — September 27, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  8. Bonds are a nice entry to the awesome primitive accumulation power of the state. Bonds will be repaid and the state will tax, conquer, steal (SS, eminent domain), privatize everything they have to make sure that they do.

    Does that all sound Tea Partyish? Probably. But the tea partiers are too brainwashed about the “free market” to realize how it all will work, even though they sense something amiss.

    Comment by Rojo — September 27, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  9. […] Was this interview a Yes Men hoax? (Via Louis Proyect) Share this:EmailPrintTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

    Pingback by “Goldman Sachs rules the world” | chtodelat news — September 27, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

  10. He could be a hoax or not, the point is, traders as whole mostly think this way. Why ? Because the structures of capitalism mandate it.

    Complaining about this is as irrelevant as liberals complaining about the ‘greed’ of the rich. Well, duh. Why do you think they are rich ?

    Comment by purple — September 28, 2011 @ 5:35 am

  11. Alessio Rastani is real. Having met and seen too many completely imbued “investors”, I can assure you that this man is absolutely sincere. And that is why his example is a revelation: money is his religion. This disease of the mind is an epidemic. I am reminded of Mark Twain’s characterization of Frederick Funston, a U.S. Army officer who captured (and/or killed) the leaders of the Filipino independence movement in 1902:

    “No satire of Funston could reach perfection, because Funston occupies that summit himself… [he is] satire incarnated.”

    Rastani has no consciousness of himself as a symbol of a type, in this regard he is a pure innocent. It is that perfection with which a human organism has fitted its entire self to a limited domain of purely functional thinking and behavior, like the evolutionary perfection of the programming in insect brains, that we are awed by on viewing.

    Comment by Manuel Garcia, Jr. — September 28, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  12. Ken McLeod tweeted this link that seems to have the story:

    Comment by Chuckie K — September 28, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

  13. @ David Ellis

    I thought it was ironic that the guy was talking about government bonds, because 15 years ago men who idealized clowns like Alessio Rastani wanted to make government “small enough to drown in a bathtub” and thus bring on the Millenium of Supercapitalism (uber alles)….the stock market man does not give a hoot about theory or ideology, they just want money. No Randian or “Libertarian” seems to get that.

    Comment by strelnikov2 — September 29, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

  14. A follow-up from RT (video):

    An “emperor has no clothes” story.

    Comment by Manuel Garcia, Jr. — September 30, 2011 @ 5:53 am

  15. An excellent Keiser Report on “bankers rule the world” and the current depression. All three commentators in this video are quite good, Nomi Prins, in the second half is excellent.

    Comment by Manuel Garcia, Jr. — September 30, 2011 @ 6:30 am

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