The public has been so shocked because finally someone has revealed to them the way the world works
'I go to sleep at night and dream of a recession.' 'Goldman Sachs rules the world.' 'This crisis, it's like a cancer – you can't ignore it and hope it'll go away.'
These are some of the astonishingly frank quotes from trader Alessio Rastani on the BBC yesterday, when he was interviewed about the eurozone debt crisis and potential responses. (You can watch Alessio Rastani on the BBC below.)
Some of the comments below the YouTube video talk about 'the psychopaths that run banks and other corporations' and 'financial nutjobs', and he may be right – there is something coldly mercantile about seeing a recession as a bonanza, but then that is a trader's job and not for himself but for his clients.
But these comments miss the point: Rastani was honest with the public in a way that politicians (UK, Europe and America) and senior bankers are not. The public has been so shocked because finally someone has revealed to them the way the world works.
There is nothing controversial in Rastani's remarks to those who read the FT or have followed the crisis closely – we all know that this problem is much deeper than the regular panicked EU communiqués pretend. Each firewall they throw up is just another layer of kindling – and soon a pile of ash. Goldman's role is not news either.
I can understand the reason for concealing this from the public (and it has been concealed) – you want to avoid panic. But isn't it fairer on the public to let them know that we're in a never-ending crisis at least partially because politicians refuse to take strong action and bankers are trying to cover their arses and make money at the same time? That way when the crash comes, they'll have been a little forewarned – not that they can do anything about it.
Perhaps the public in fact prefers to keep its eyes closed. To be ignorant of the scale of the crisis ahead is to enjoy these days.
Anyway, watch the video and put your comments in the box below – do you think Rastani was out of line? Did he tell too much – or too little – of the truth?