A Russian stock market analyst appeared to chug alcohol live on air after being asked about the state of the market in Russia by a local television anchor.
“Are stock market strategies outdated now, or do you hope to still remain in the profession?” the host of the show asked Alexander Butmanov, founder of financial technology firm DTI Algorithmic, according to a CNBC translation.
Butmanov described the market as the “worst case scenario,” and he said his long term career goal was now to “work as Santa Claus, as I did 25 years ago.”
The Russian stock market has been closed for five days as the country’s currency, the ruble, sank in value amid Western sanctions that targeted Russia’s access to the SWIFT interbank messaging system, CNBC reported.
“Excluding jokes, let’s do this quickly,” Butmanov said, CNBC reported. “I send regards to Sergei Usychenko, who drank 12, 13 years ago to the death of the stock market.”
Butmanov then pulled out a glass bottle, stared into the camera and began to toast the death of the stock market, as the host looked on in apparent disbelief.
“Today, I’m drinking carbonated water,” Butmanov said, CNBC reported. “Dear stock market, you were close to us, you were interesting, rest in peace dear comrade.”
The host said she was not going to comment on the stunt in front of her because she did not “want to believe it.”
Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine. Russian forces attacked a nuclear power plant on Friday, which the United States embassy in Ukraine called a “war crime.”