This very blunt and honest interview with trader Alessio Rastani went viral on the Internet yesterday due to his lack of pulling punches when talking about the current market environment. He made some important points that I’ve highlighted below and made some of my own comments:
1. The current market environment is ruled by fear
This is a key point to understand when observing the extremely volatile and erratic nature in the movement of the market right now. When so much uncertainty overhangs the market it’s impossible for traders and investors to establish positions with conviction, unless they are just blindly buying and holding (and hoping!) for the long term.
2. The smart money doesn’t buy this rescue plan
The smart money isn’t going to get hoodwinked into believing anything coming from any of the governments involved is going to “solve the problem”. Instead the smart money is either on the sidelines (see the big surge in long term treasuries and the U.S. dollar recently) or is positioning on the short side. Basically the smart money is being mindful that we have a trend change on our hands, and when the bear market gets worse they want to be positioned accordingly.
3. It doesn’t matter what else happens, the trend is going to play itself out
When the reporter asks him “Well what else could happen fundamentally that would make investors feel more comfortable?”, he responds by saying “It doesn’t matter!”. This was the key point in the interview I believe. He’s basically saying he’s going to simply do what the market tells him to do, and not worry about what is currently happening in the news. This is the essence of trend following, listening to the message of the market and positioning accordingly. So since he believes the trend is down, he’s going to 1) not be swayed by the news and 2) just keep following the trend.
4. The government doesn’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world
I don’t think he literally means Goldman Sachs really rules the world, he’s basically reiterating the fact that the government ultimately has little control over where the market is going to go. If the market wants a default by Greece it’s going to get it. Remember all the band-aids the government tried in 2008 as markets continued to meltdown? Investing based on the hope that somehow they’ll get things right this time around is probably not a good idea either.