A Small Accounting Discrepancy

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Because I don’t have stock in German payments company Wirecard, I can get a rueful chuckle out of this phenomenal headline:

  • Wirecard stock plummets 37% after the payments firm says $2 billion in missing cash likely doesn’t exist

Without knowing anything beyond the headline, that’s just funny. Is there a closest somewhere that’s literally bursting with this “non-existent” money? Or did some programmer fat finger something? No, no, it was almost certainly just massive fraud. That’s terrible, and it’s probable that some people who don’t deserve it are going to be hurt financially by this.

Still, I just can’t stop thinking about the conversation surrounding this:

“Sir, you know that two billion dollars we have?”

“Oh, you mean the two billion dollars? Yes, yes I do.”

“Right, so, we apparently don’t have it.”

“What do you mean we don’t have it? Where is it?”

“Well, it turns out, uh…it seems like it was never real.”

What?!

“Yeah. It turns out that two billion dollars likely doesn’t exist.”

“…Shit.”

It’s highly likely that some unknown number of people within Wirecard have been committing fraud, likely for quite some time. More recently, someone else cottoned on to this fact, and then had to tell the world. I don’t care who you are, that’s a rough day at the office.


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