Like shooting fish in a barrel…
More information emerged today about self-proclaimed “trader” and financial markets “expert” Alessio Rastani. The Independent reported that Rastani “hosts seminars for The Wealth Training Company”, which claims to offer “The UK’s Number 1 Stock Market Training Course”, and named his boss as Darren Winters. Sure enough, Rastani (and his now-infamous BBC interview) are featured on The Wealth Training Company’s website (and what a slick and professional-looking website it is, too!).
A spot of Google research revealed that The Wealth Training Company isn’t the first company Darren Winters has run that offers stock market training. He previously ran WIN Investing which, as it turns out, has had a few dissatisfied customers in its time and was censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for making unsubstantiated claims in its adverts. It also appears that, despite running a company that claims to be able to teach you how to make money from trading the stock market, Winters has some trouble keeping his own ventures afloat – he was director of a software company that went bankrupt, owing over £250,000 and WIN Investing itself came very close to collapsing in 2009.
Unfortunately, Winters was on a conference call when the Independent phoned The Wealth Training Company’s offices. They spoke, instead, to Winters’ partner (and a co-director of WIN Investing), Tatjana Valujeva who ‘seemed baffled that [Rastani] should be on the BBC at all. “I find it hilarious,” she said. “If you walked around Canary Wharf, every second person you spoke to would be more qualified than Alessio to talk about the financial crisis.“‘
Meanwhile, Robert Peston, the BBC’s Business Editor, who decribed Rastani as a “a must watch, if you want to understand the euro crisis & how markets work“, maintains that, in the interview, Rastani “says what traders say privately to me“.
So, let’s review some of the things Rastani said in the interview:
“Investors and the big money, the smart money… I’m talking about ..the big funds, the hedge funds, the institutions – they don’t buy this rescue plan. They basically know the market is toast. They know the stock market is finished.”
Well, for all its ups and downs, the stock market clearly isn’t “finished”. However, I would love to know how many real, professional traders (and let’s define a “professional trader” as someone who makes their living from trading) have told Robert Peston privately that “the stock market is finished”.
“I go to bed every night, I dream of another recession.”
I’ve worked in the City for over a decade now (including a stint as a trader) and I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who dreamt of a recession. Sure, there’s money to be made in a volatile market but it’s just as easy to lose money. You can make money in a falling market by shorting stocks or moving into government bonds but those are merely trading tactics. A trader’s job is to make money whether the market is rising or falling and I guarantee that pretty much every sane, sensible trader would rather make money off a bull market than a bear market.
When I picture traders sidling up to Peston in bars around the City and Canary Wharf, muttering that they really hope another recession is about to hit, I really struggle with the suspension of disbelief.
“The governments don’t rule the world. Goldman Sachs rules the world.”
Well, this one might have pushed the buttons of a few loony, left-wing conspiracy theorists but, while nobody can deny that the markets collectively wield a lot of power (in the same way that a thousand-strong mob of people wields a lot of power), Goldman Sachs is merely one of thousands of firms that make up those markets. They may have become the focal point for criticism in the aftermath of the Credit Crunch but, in truth, they have no control over the markets and their influence over governments extends only as far as politicians’ willingness to listen to Goldman Sachs’ advice.
But you know what? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe traders have been quietly telling Robert Peston that Greece’s financial troubles and the turmoil in the eurozone are part of some masterplan set in motion by the evil geniuses at the top of Goldman Sachs.
In which case, why hasn’t Peston reported this to us before now?
Well, rumour has it that Rastani has enlisted Max Clifford to do his PR so, with any luck (and Max’s help), we’ll be able to
enjoy laughing at benefit from Alessio Rastani’s risible, ridiculous tripe market insights and wisdom. At least, that is, until the stock market collapses, the world economy plunges into a 1930s-style recession and we wake, one day, to find ourselves enslaved by our new rulers at Goldman Sachs.