Photo: Bloomberg L.P.
This is a shock to younger investors, but a déjà vu for older ones. The mystery surrounding the missing billions from Dax Wirecard’s list is reminiscent of spectacular scandals from the past. And this, understandably, causes some discomfort among experienced rabbits in the capital market.
Because when a huge falsification of reports or other grandiose fraud becomes known, it often marks the beginning of the end of the long stock market boom.
If the financial data of the payment operator Wirecard (long mockingly called “Wirefraud” by financial experts) turns out to be heavily manipulated, we will need to be more than careful, because mistakes can reveal an alarming level of frivolity that affects both the exchange and its players. .
Obviously, investors will have to look more closely at their investments and must not allow themselves to be emotionally drawn into general market exaggerations or by individual visionaries of companies. This is true for every market, but especially for Germany. There, it seems, the susceptibility to false prophets is especially great.
It is no coincidence that Wirecard is the most popular stock among German private investors, as a study by WELT AM SONNTAG has just shown. “Fraud cases often go hand in hand with market peaks,” Stefan Hayek, who has worked as a hedge fund manager since 2005, told the media.
Surprisingly, the most spectacular cases of fraud occurred mostly soon after reaching an ever-increasing stock market peak. The best example is Enron, still one of the biggest fraud cases in American economic history.
The American energy trader Enron, which has seen rapidly growing sales for years and is considered one of the most innovative companies in America, went bankrupt shortly after the end of the millennium in 2000, after a large-scale manipulation of financial statements was revealed. The company reported billions of dollars in revenue for years.
The fact that the incredible growth figures of the company of Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay did not raise doubts before, today is associated with the elated mood of the so-called. New Economy, which made everything seem possible.
In good times, investors do not look very carefully at the balance sheets, there is a strong desire to be part of the “hot things”. Warnings, such as notable stock sales by senior Enron executives, were ignored. Eventually, more than 21,000 employees lost their jobs after the bankruptcy, and much of their pensions were also lost.