'I'm an attention seeker' says trader who caused storm
The self-styled independent trader who caused a storm by suggesting that world leaders are powerless to prevent a global market collapse admitted to a newspaper Wednesday he was "an attention seeker".
London-based Alessio Rastani became an Internet sensation after claiming in a BBC TV interview on Monday that US investment bank Goldman Sachs "ruled the world" and he went to bed every night "dreaming of another recession".
The furore led to speculation Rastani was a professional hoaxer, but the BBC said it could find no evidence that he was not a genuine trader and its business editor Robert Peston said the interview was "a must watch".
Rastani's remarks caused a storm on Twitter and in British newspapers, and prompted Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado to brand him "mad and immoral."
The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that Rastani works and lives in a modest £200,000 (230,000 euros, $310,000) semi-detached house in Bexleyheath, south London, that belongs to his girlfriend.
He is not registered with the Financial Services Authority watchdog, although that does not prevent him trading on the markets, and has no employment record with a major financial instutition.
He owns a public speaking venture called Santoro Projects, which after four years of trading is operating at a loss, according to the Telegraph.
Rastani, 34, told the paper he had been approached by the BBC to do the interview.
"They approached me," he told the Telegraph. "I'm an attention seeker. That is the main reason I speak. That is the reason I agreed to go on the BBC.
"Trading is a like a hobby. It is not a business. I am a talker. I talk a lot. I love the whole idea of public speaking."
He added: "I agreed to go on because I'm attention seeker. But I meant every word I said."
Asked about the eurozone crisis during the BBC interview, Rastani said traders "know the stock market is finished. The euro, as far as they're concerned, they don't really care".
"For most traders, 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," he said.
"Personally I've been dreaming of this moment for three years. I have a confession, which is I go to bed every night, I dream of another recession."
He added that "governments don't rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world".
The BBC said it had no further comment to make in light of Rastani's comments to the Telegraph.
"We are satisfied with the investigation we made and at this point we have nothing further to add to our statement yesterday," a BBC spokesman told AFP.
© 2011 AFP