How does the BBC vet its ‘expert’ guests?

BBC News reports:

A financial trader who appeared on the BBC and said he dreamed of making money from another recession was not a hoaxer, the broadcaster has said.

Users of Twitter have cast doubt on Alessio Rastani’s credentials.

But the BBC said: “We’ve carried out detailed investigations and can’t find any evidence to suggest that the interview… was a hoax.”

On his website Mr Rastani says he is “an experienced stock market and forex trader and professional speaker”.

So there you have it: the BBC conducted a “detailed investigation” — by reading about how Rastani describes himself on his own website!

The Daily Mail provides some reporting with a little more depth (and when you have to turn to the Mail for “depth”, that really shows how bad the BBC has become!).

The ‘trader’ at the centre of a controversial interview, in which he claimed the City just ‘loves’ an economic disaster, has admitted that trading is just a ‘hobby’.

Far from being a City hotshot, Alessio Rastani has admitted to being an ‘attention seeker’ who lives in a £200,000 semi-detached house owned by his girlfriend.

And despite his brash demeanour, there is precious little evidence that the 34-year-old has ever been employed in a senior post for a bank or stockbroking firm.

Rumours that the self-styled ‘leading trader’ was a member of the ‘Yes Men’ hoaxers have been shown to be untrue – but if not a hoaxer, Mr Rastani certainly seems to be a chancer.

Rastani told the Daily Telegraph how he landed in front of the BBC’s cameras.

“They approached me,” he told The Telegraph. “I’m an attention seeker. That is the main reason I speak. That is the reason I agreed to go on the BBC. Trading is a like a hobby. It is not a business. I am a talker. I talk a lot. I love the whole idea of public speaking.”

So he’s more of a talker than a trader. A man who doesn’t own the house he lives in, but can sum up the financial crisis in just three minutes – a knack that escapes many financial commentators.

“I agreed to go on because I’m attention seeker,” he said on Tuesday. “But I meant every word I said.”

For those who missed the interview that went viral, here it is again. And for those of you who happened to first watch this here and know as little as I do about the financial markets, be advised: this isn’t the place to gather all the information you need if you’re trying to decide how to safeguard your investments!

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