The story of Alessio Rastani, the trader

‎”I am a trader. We traders don’t care how you’re going to fix the economy. I dream about recession every night because you can make money in a recession.” This interview at BBC shocked viewers worldwide by its blatant openness and brutal honesty. It shows the total ignorance of financial market professionals towards the well being of the economy and its effect on the people. Alessio Rastani, a trader from London speaks about how they profit from worldwide recession and debt crisis of countries and what techniques can be used to strengthen the effect of a declining market allowing hedge funds to make money by placing bets on countries going bankrupt or crashing stock values.

It’s ironic that BBC reporter Robert Peston shortly believed that they were set up by satirical cultural jamming group Yes Men because nobody would believe a trader would be so open about his views of the world. Shortly later, he confirmed that this interview was actually legit and Forbes just published an interview with Rastani, stating him “I trade the momentum”. Right now his Facebook wall is full of hate, as you can see below but to be honest: Rastani does not really say something new. Everybody knows that there is a lot of money to make if you push the right buttons in a crisis. Rastani is a freelance trader, he works from home and actually he is only one in thousands of people who move money in the market. But he gives the anonymous and abstract thing “financial markets” a face.

People cannot understand what these markets are and why they have such a great influence on their jobs, their pensions, the news and politicians everyday. It’s a conglomerate of people, institutions, robots who all act according to different rules and nobody understands the motivations or mechanisms fully. Whenever a person pops up, the boss of a bank, a hedge fund manager or a freelancer trader who speaks his mind people get furious. But Rastani is only a small piece a big system, so don’t shoot the messenger. On the contrary, you actually have to pay the guy some respect for his honesty and transparency. In the Forbes interview is surprised by the attention he gets and says: “I think it’s overblown. I have no idea why I’m getting this attention. I don’t think it was news. For someone to say what I said, I thought everybody already knew this kind of stuff. The big players of funds rule the world, I don’t think that was news.” And sad but true, he is probably right.

Movie about Berlin techno scene in the 90ies

The electronic music magazine Resident Advisor has started a new video series called “Real Scenes”. The third issue is about Berlin and its protagonists during the last 30 years. The film is great because it explains Berlins techno history in a very understandable way but also very well captures the feeling of getting lost and trying to escape from the pressure which always has and will be a motive for partying, especially in Berlin. The photography is nice with great scenes from Mauerpark, clandestine raves, clubs which have moved from underground to establishment like Watergate and Tresor and lots of squatted houses.

We hear people like Michael Hain (Hardwax), Tobias Rapp (author and Spiegel journalist), Dixon, Dimitri Hegemann (Tresor founder), Bene and Tom (Renate club), Sascha (Apparat) or Daniel Meteo from Shitkatapult. The protagonists explain the history of the openness of Berlin after the wall came down with lots of space and lack of rules. And also its transition from being a German underground city to a internationally known hotspot with all the good and bad this development brings.

You can find more “real scenes” documentaries about Bristol and Detroit.

A full september

I haven’t written a long, diary-like blogpost for quite some time and here is a nice opportunity to reflect on what I am doing right now and what are my plans in september.

It all started with a weekend trip to Copenhagen, to see the exhibition opening of my friend Robert McNally. We had a great time, his gallery owner David showed us around and made us feel really welcome. The next day was strolling around in the center, the harbor, next to the opera, seeing Christiania and the sunday a trip to the famous Louisiana, museum of modern art with a beautiful sculpture garden. So lots of culture, impressions and great weather even!

This week will all about preparing new business for P3000 which I still enjoy working for every day. I am also helping to organize the main event of Social Media Week 2011, we are going to have a conference with the motto “Everything is amazing and nobody is happy”.

Next weekend I will work at Berlin festival, taking care of artists just like at Melt festival. I have amongst others Public Enemy, DJ Hell, Mr Oizo, Feadz, A Trak, Diplo, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Skrillex. Wow!

The week after will be Amsterdam at Picnic festival. I went there last year already and had a good time, here is the video from 2010.

I already have some interesting appointments in Amsterdam, obviously the idea of “The box” a european network of independent social media agencies does provoke some interest.

The week after will be Social Media week with the main event on tuesday and an app circus on thursday which I will take part in. Originally I planned to go to Cologne to Demexco too but I guess that’ll be too much frankly. Looking forward to seeing you on some of these events!

Vote for the next tv production

German tv channel ZDF Neo is conducting an interesting experiment: On you can watch 10 shows and decide which one you would like to see as a regular on tv. We have a movie magazine, a puppet show, a stand up live format, a dating show, a very personal magazine and many other creative intents to create a contemporary tv show. Users can vote in different categories like innovation until the 3rd of september.

TVLab - Schau doch was du willst!

I like the puppets, the Bambule magazine, “Wie geil ist das denn” with a very funny and charming Caro Corneli and of course support my buddy Nilz. Here is the trailer (in German)

I like the idea and am pretty sure that we will see more of this crowdtested shows on tv in the future.

Going out in Copenhagen

I am going to Denmarks capital tomorrow and I have some things to celebrate. So I need your help to give me some advice about where to go out, which areas, bars and clubs suit best for tomorrow night. And this is actually a little competition, sponsored by Defshop. They love Stylewalker and offered me a goodie to give away in a little quest, so all of you who help me to find some cool place to go, take part and can win this pants by the Danish brand Humör.

So please, post hints to the best bars and clubs in Copenhagen in the comments, thanks!