A financial trader who appeared on the BBC and said he dreamed of making money from another recession was not a hoaxer, the broadcaster has said.
Users of Twitter have cast doubt on Alessio Rastani’s credentials. But the BBC said: “We’ve carried out detailed investigations and can’t find any evidence to suggest that the interview… was a hoax.”
On his website Mr Rastani says he is “an experienced stock market and forex trader and professional speaker”.
In the interview, broadcast on the BBC News Channel on Monday, Mr Rastani said traders “dream of recessions”.
He was interviewed live and said: “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.
“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 then added: “The governments don’t rule the world. [Investment bank] Goldman Sachs rules the world. Goldman Sachs does not care about this rescue package, neither does the big funds.”
After Twitter speculation that he was a member of hoaxers The Yes Men, the BBC press office made enquiries and concluded: “He is an independent market trader and one of a range of voices we’ve had on air to talk about the recession.”
The Yes Men said Mr Rastani was not connected with the group, however, The Yes Men’s Mike Bonanno said Mr Rastani’s comments were suspicious.
He told the BBC: “People in power don’t speak that way. But who cares if he is or is not real. What we should be paying attention to is our own surprise at hearing his words.”
Mr Bonanno said that “real industry insiders … usually remain silent about the way the system works”.
“They obscure their actions with technical jargon and deceit. They have to, because when people find out what is going on – when it is spoken in plain language – there is widespread outrage.”