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“Goldman Sachs rules the world”. Media hoax, marketing campaign or pure truth?

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I have come across this video yesterday and looked at it several times. I was astonished by the directness of this trader who told the whole world through the BBC that he dreams every night about a global economic crisis, because this situation will allow him to make big profits.

I had a conversation about it with Vida and she said that the trader did this on purpose, launching this controversial information in order to achieve certain effects in the media and the markets.

I wasn't really sure about that. To me it seems like this guys just act from a completely abstracted position. From what I have researched in the past years, immaterial capitalism allows levels of rationalisation I have never thought were possible. The trader explained that he wants to help. He warned everyone that now is the time to make money in order to avoid personal misery that waits around the corner, when the financial crisis grows in the near future.

I checked again today and many people seem to question that this was a real stock trader. At the same time many people seem to be outraged, including high profile politicians.


It is hard to tell what is happening. It could be true, or it could be a hoax. The Yes Men did these types of hoaxes most famously. Their tactic was to use "overidentification" and push the limits of corporations and businessman's image to levels where it started to implode showing the real nature of current capitalism’s culture. Here is a video of their fantastic action impersonating a Dow Chemicals spokes person, claiming responsibility on the twentieth anniversary of the Bhopal disaster.


I am wondering what is the effect of their interventions in cases like this. Because Yes Men’s activist communication strategy is grounded on (partly self promotional) revelations of the fact that they are hoaxers, some people don't believe that the interviewed person was a real trader. And because of this the potential counter effect of his public action is smaller than it would be. Interesting side effects of tactical media strategies. Just a quick google search will lead you to different web pages that cover the story. Most of them seem to deal with the hoax aspect of the whole thing. Here are just a few examples:





Although it looks like the Yes men or other hoaxers haven’t been involved and the Wall street guy seemed to have somehow confirmed its identity or at least the opposite has not yet been proven, its hard to know what is really going on. But even if we knew for sure the identity of this person it might be he is having his own communicative strategic agenda that goes beyond the perverse directness of his statements. If that’s true, it’s quite sophisticated.

All this works like a double media virus. First the youtube version of the BBC interview gets viral. Second, media starts to discuss it. But instead of getting in to the part of the story that is problematic- the CONTENT of what he said, media is occupied with the FORM. The Design. Was this presentation real or not? This gets us back to the question of the relation between public communication and current capitalist excess. How can we in the design obsessed media world bring communication from the form back to content?

Next thing worth checking is Alessio Rastani's FB page and the comments he is getting at the moment>


To get a broader insight in Wall street culture and
if you haven’t seen the Oscar nominated documentary The inside Job- have a look at it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzrBurlJUNk

Another interesting and important aspect to the story is that this video is circulating in the days when several thousand people are occupying Wall Street- already for more than ten days. You can check a live stream, photos, news and more from their web site www. occupywallst.org. We are the 99% is the strong slogan of this fantastic public intervention.

So far I haven’t seen any mainstream media make a connection between the BBC interview and this protests. Of course. Although they could not be more connected. Let's see what will happen.


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11 years, 8 months ago

this is already about the Crisis of Western Civilization.

11 years, 8 months ago

Even if I was a little skeptic about an information, after reading this, I can start to think differently. Thanks!


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