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Wirecard: The dangerous misery in politics and authorities - Comment


Deep ignorance and serious conflicts of interest: the Wirecard scandal reveals the failure of politics and supervisory authorities. And he supports all those who repeatedly sow doubts about the rule of law.

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Wirecard investigation committee: meticulous detail work by opposition politicians

Photo: Christian Ditsch / imago images

It is well known that the Germans have a disturbed relationship with the capital market.

They would rather put their money in the interest-free savings book than in shares.

On the one hand, this is miserable investment management.

And on the other hand, no wonder, if you look at how German officials who are actually supposed to monitor the goings-on in the capital market fail miserably - and are not even personally held responsible for it.

The Wirecard case shows this in all its forms.

If the pandemic did not dominate daily events for months, the collapse of the financial group, but above all the political processing of the scandal, would have what it takes to become a state crisis.  

The Wirecard affair reveals the incomprehensible misery of the political and administrative class.

Looking the other way, delegating responsibility, taking cover.

With all the small and small things in the affair, it is important to pause for a while and think about which staff you are dealing with:

  • Political officials

    who roll out the red carpet for a company that has been suspected of fraud for years and gratefully accept its gifts.  

  • State

    Secretary for Finance

    Jörg Kukies

    , who has confidential talks with the head of this group, Markus Braun, about all

    kinds of

    things, but apparently not about what could possibly be the case with the suspected fraud.  

  • The 

    EY auditors

    , who for years cleared the balance sheets of this group, followed up on indications of fraud only half-heartedly, and now squirm acrobatically to justify their behavior and exculpate themselves.  

  • The

    financial supervisory authority Bafin

    , which has not noticed anything because it delegated its supervisory duties out of laziness or insight into its own incompetence, although according to its model it wants to be a principle-based authority - an authority that is not stubborn according to the rules works, but also at least as much listens to her gut feeling.

    Had she stuck to her own maxim and sniffed into where it stank audibly for a long time, the German economy might have been spared a scandal of the century.

    Instead, some Bafin employees gambled with Wirecard shares, while the authorities forbade other speculators to do so.

    At the same time, she suspected reporters for the British Financial Times of doing common cause with alleged fraudsters - foreign press products such as the Financial Times were not even in circulation in the Bafin. 

  • And recently:

    Ralf Bose


    Until recently, very few people have known the head of the APAS auditor oversight commission.

    That is not surprising;

    having a body overseeing the work of auditors like EY doesn't sound too exciting.

    Bose seems to have settled comfortably in the gray shade of economic reporting.

    As it now came out, he bought Wirecard shares on April 28, 2020 - on the day on which the KPMG auditors published a special report that mercilessly summarized the unbelievable conditions and misconduct of the Wirecard Group.  

At a point in time that was extremely sensitive for Wirecard and the capital market, the head of APAS, one of the most important supervisory authorities in this country, made a bet on the comeback of a company to which KPMG, an APAS-controlled auditor, had issued a damning certificate.

Something like this is forbidden elsewhere, in Germany it is apparently possible without hesitation, just like the gambling of the Bafin people.

Fun fact: When Bose sold its Wirecard shares a month later, their price had fallen by around 15 percent.

The man is obviously not only painless, but also a miserable investor.

The latter, after all, he has in common with many Germans. 

This scandal was only exposed thanks to the educational work of the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the Wirecard affair.

The fact that the committee is so productive and illuminating is primarily due to the meticulous detailed work of opposition members of the Bundestag.

What the finance committee members of the FDP, the Left and the Greens are doing there is not only a terrific contribution to clearing up a scandal, but also to strengthening confidence in democratic processes.

This is sorely needed, because all those who failed so incredibly in the Wirecard case ultimately undermine trust in the rule of law.

The Green MP Danyal Bayaz has therefore filed a suspicious transaction report for insider trading Bose with the Bafin.

"The suspicion of insider trading is obvious," said Bayaz.

If his suspicions are confirmed, the Bafin must immediately file a criminal complaint against Bose.

This is all the more bitter as there is a political faith whose overarching idea is to sow doubts about the rule of law and ultimately to destroy it in its current form.

Apparently this is not (yet) really successful, but the behavior of state actors in the Wirecard scandal endangers democratic culture.

By the way, it also lives from dignitaries taking responsibility - just as they enjoy being in the spotlight.

Resignations, even kicking out obviously unsuitable responsible persons, have so far not taken place.  

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is sticking to Bafin President Felix Hufeld and prefers to praise the »Financial Times« reporter Dan McCrum, whose meticulous research Wirecard brought down.

The SPD candidate for Chancellor does not apologize for the fact that Bafin McCrum, who was under the control of Scholz, was stalking without evidence.

And even if Economics Minister Peter Altmaier has now announced that he will talk to APAS boss Bose, it is questionable whether he would really fire him.

But what the heck, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer is still in office. 

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Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2020-12-12

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