Remember when Germany was known for virtues like incorruptibility, restraint, discipline and a sense of justice?
Yeah, me neither. The Wirecard meltdown – and let’s not forget Volkswagen’s Dieselgate, the „Cum-Ex“ files, practically everything Deutsche Bank has ever done, etc. – is yet another reminder of a much greater problem here: Dishonesty and corruption.
The collapse of tech giant Wirecard triggers national angst in Germany – Politicians and officials in Germany are scrambling to tighten up the regulatory oversight of fintech companies following the collapse last month of Wirecard, the online payment processor.
The company, once worth more than $27 billion, filed for insolvency after admitting that a huge fraud had been perpetrated and that more than $2 billion was missing from its accounts. The CEO, Markus Braun, resigned and was arrested. As Europe’s largest fintech, Wirecard was widely regarded as a national champion in Germany, and so the collapse has caused a national bout of soul searching.
“You don’t get to a 2 billion euro [$2.3 billion] hole in your accounts overnight. Something clearly had to have been happening over quite a prolonged period of time.”