What is Alessio Rastani?

On Monday, a trader named Alessio Rastani told BBC interviewers that he was “dreaming of another recession” and that “governments don’t rule the world; Goldman Sachs rules the world.” It seemed like bad news. Rastani’s candor—some might call it glee—in describing how he profits from the kind of large-scale economic disaster in which we’re currently living also made it seem like a hoax. Several Twitter wags accused him of being a member of Yes Men, the group of agitprop performance artists who impersonate corporate spokespeople to draw attention to, well, the kind of thing Rastani talked about. But Yes Men has disclaimed him, and Rastani is an actual private day trader, as near as the BBC can tell. If he is a Yes Man, the organization is fielding much better actors, as this 2006 interview with a Dow Chemical impersonator suggests. That’s what a fake interview looks like. Rastani looks real, but what is he?

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