Wirecard?

Sounds vaguely familiar. Very vaguely. No, come to think of it, never heard of Wirecard.

It was an innocuous question, posed shortly before midnight some nine hours into an exhausting parliamentary hearing into the Wirecard scandal. “Did you ever actually own Wirecard shares?”

MPs will want to know why Merkel lobbied for Wirecard in China when reports about suspected fraud at the company had been in the public domain for months. Scholz will be asked to explain how BaFin, the financial regulator he oversees, not only failed to uncover the Wirecard fraud but went after short-sellers and Financial Times journalists who first highlighted irregularities at the company.

Angela Merkel Isn’t Quite Finished With Her Party Yet

Or with her country, for that matter. But it won’t be much longer.

CDU

Merkel’s Conservatives Mired in Scandal and Incompetence…

The Union has been in turmoil ever since it became known that to conservative lawmakers are thought to have enriched themselves with business deals involving medical protective equipment – at a time when workers across the country were fearful of losing their jobs, when the self-employed were facing ruin and when doctors and nurses were risking their health. Political representatives benefitting from a crisis that has gripped the entire country is not a good look…

A majority of the population, though, might be inclined to overlook such missteps if things were actually working. If people had the feeling that the government was doing its job protecting the population from the virus and ably leading the country through the pandemic. But that is not the case.

Die Union rutscht in einer Umfrage um vier Prozentpunkte ab und hat den positiven Effekt der Corona-Krise wieder verspielt. In der Kanzlerfrage läge Laschet hinter Grünen-Politiker Habeck – aber vor einem anderen direkten Konkurrenten.

Just What Do You Mean When You Say “Ethical Standards?”

Must have got lost in translation or something.

Masks

Hello? Is there anybody in there? These are politicians, people. Violating ethical standards is what they get paid for.

German mask scandal: ‘Unforgivable violations of ethical standards’ – Andreas Nick, a prominent member of Germany’s ruling CDU party, has strongly criticized the two conservative politicians at the heart of a damaging mask procurement scandal on DW’s Conflict Zone.

“Individual cases shouldn’t be used in a demagogue fashion to discredit parliamentarians and politicians who serve the public to its best interests.”

On October 31, 2020, BER Will Open

But don’t tell anyone, OK? It’s too embarrassing.

Airport

Berlin’s new international airport can open next month after an embarrassing nine-year delay despite the coronavirus pandemic taking a big bite out of air travel, its chief manager said Tuesday…

BER was set to open in 2011 but the date was repeatedly pushed back over a series of issues, including fire safety and corruption.

In the meantime, the cost of the facility exploded to 6.5 billon euros ($7.6 billion) from a 1.7-billion-euro budget initially.

“There won’t be a big party, just an opening.”

Kremlin Top Lobbyist Unavailable For Comment

And Gazprom Gerd‘s silence is poisoning the atmosphere in Germany. Poisoning, get it?

Gerd

German politicians warn ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to quit Russian posts – CDU and Green politicians have urged Gerhard Schröder to “immediately give up his offices and posts in Russia” over allegations of Russian involvement in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

“He should not ignore this, neither politically nor morally.”

German Of The Day: Steuerhinterzieherin

That means tax evader – of the female persuasion.

Taxes

The title of the article: The Super-Lefty as Tax Evader.

Katrin Lompscher (Left Party), the Senator for City Development in Berlin’s red-redder-green (SPD, Left Party, Greens) city government – and the mother of the city’s infamous, breathtakingly failed and unconstitutional Mietendeckel or rent cap – has been forced to resign due to tax irregularities. They weren’t paid regularly enough, in other words – she earned too much on the side and declared too little. It’s folks like her – and there are a whole lot of them here in this city – who put the Social in Social Democracy. Sorry. I meant, who put the Left in the Left.

Zu viel Kohle nebenher kassiert und nicht versteuert – das klingt nach turbokapitalem Protzvillen-Raffke.

Made In Germany

Remember when Germany was known for virtues like incorruptibility, restraint, discipline and a sense of justice?

WireCard

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.”

German Of The Day: Dax-Zombie

That means DAX zombie.

DAX

For the first time, a DAX company, Wirecard, has gone broke but won’t be kicked out of the index until September.

Wirecard has filed for insolvency, just days after a $2 billion accounting scandal at the company burst into the open, crashing its stock and leading to the arrest of its former chief executive.

The digital payments company said in a statement Thursday it had opened legal proceedings in Munich “due to impending insolvency and over-indebtedness.” Share

Mit Wirecard ist zum ersten Mal ein Dax-Konzern pleite gegangen. Aus dem Leitindex fliegen dürfte der Konzern aber erst im September.

Where On Earth Did I Put That €1.9 Billion?

I didn’t leave it in my other wallet now, did I?

Wirecard

Remember when Germany used to have that squeaky-clean image? Yeah. Me neither. Now Wirecard has stepped up to the plate.

German payments firm Wirecard says missing €1.9bn may not exist – Company thought money was in two Asian banks but search hits dead end in Philippines.

“The management board of Wirecard assesses on the basis of further examination that there is a prevailing likelihood that the bank trust account balances in the amount of €1.9bn do not exist.”

What Does SPD Stand For?

Other than Social Democrat Party, I mean. Shekels, Payola and Dough?

SPD

Or is it more like Scratch, Plunder and Dinero?

When not fighting for the rights of the working class and alleviating the capitalist economic oppression of the masses, ex-vice chancellor and national chairmen of Germany’s Social Democrat Party Sigmar Gabriel enjoys doing part-time community service work serving on the supervisory board of the freakin’ Deutsche Bank.

It’s understandable. Sort of. He recognized there was a problem with Deutsche Bank years ago (he wasn’t the first, however) and now only wants to take this opportunity to help them clean things up.

“Deutsche Bank, as one of the most important financial institutions in Europe, has the opportunity and the responsibility to help shape the future of the German and European economy. I want to play a part in this.”