NEW YORK (
) -- Alessio Rastani, a little-known independent trader, has been making waves in the market after he made gloomy predictions on BBC about the European debt crisis and told investors to prepare themselves for the worst.
Rastani said Monday morning that traders like himself do not really care about the government rescue packages and are looking for opportunities to make money. "I have been dreaming of this opportunity for three years. I have a confession to make. I go to bed dreaming of another recession,"Rastani told somewhat shocked BBC journalists.
"This economic crisis is like a cancer - if you just wait and wait thinking it's gonna go away, just like a cancer it's gonna grow and it's gonna be too late," he added. "Get prepared. This is not a time right now for wishful thinking that the government is going to sort things out. The governments don't rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world. Goldman Sachs does not care about the rescue package and neither do the big funds."
He went on to tell investors to protect their assets as he expects that in 18 months "the savings of millions of people are going to vanish".
The video went viral, but was soon followed by questions as to whether Rastani, who identified himself as an independent trader, was a legitimate source. Some speculated that he was a member of the "Yes Men" group of pranksters.
The Yes Men later denied that he belonged to the group. The BBC said that they had conducted detailed investigations and could not find any evidence he was a hoax.
The Telegraph then investigated further. According to its report, Rastani is a business owner, a 99 percent shareholder in a public speaking venture called Santoro Projects.
In an interview with the paper Rastani described himself as a "attention seeker" and that trading was like a "hobby" and not a business. He claimed that he had been approached by BBC.
"I agreed to go on because I'm attention seeker," he said on Tuesday. "But I meant every word I said."
--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York
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