Ex-boss Markus Braun’s megalomania: Wirecard wanted to take over Deutsche Bank

Updated on August 26, 2020, 8:39 a.m.

The Morning Briefing by Gabor Steingart – controversial, critical and humorous. Know what is being discussed politically. Today: the megalomania of the ex-Wirecard boss Markus Braun, the joys of the Americans, which are the pain of the Europeans, and the schools in North Rhine-Westphalia, which are not allowed to exclude students without masks from lessons.

Gabor Steingart

One column

from Gabor Steingart

In a precisely researched story, the “Financial Times” reported this morning about the megalomania of the ex-Wirecard boss and co-owner Markus Braun. Because he had asked McKinsey to prepare a plan to take over Deutsche Bank. The code name was “Project Panther” and could just as well have been called “Project megalomania”.

The new company should be named “Wirebank” and “think and act like a fintech bank on the scale of a global bank”. McKinsey estimated that it could generate an additional six billion euros in profit by 2025. Furthermore, the McKinsey report promised a doubling of the joint stock exchange valuation at almost 50 billion euros.

In the opinion of the FT, however, another point might have been decisive for the “Project Panther”: A takeover of Deutsche Bank offered the prospect of an exit from the fraud that Wirecard had operated. Round 1.9 billion euros in cash were missing from their accounts and much of their business in Asia was in reality an elaborate hoax. By embedding the Wirecard business in Deutsche Bank’s balance sheet, it was possible to conceal the missing cash and replace the swindle with real business with real customers.

However, the plan had a catch: in order to seriously prepare such a deal, Wirecard needed an expert opinion from KPMGthat gave him flawless running the company as well correct balance sheets confirmed. KPMG’s approval never came.

Shortly afterwards, Wirecard filed for bankruptcy and Braun was arrested. The FT balances:

“His dream of taking over Deutsche Bank had turned into a nightmare.”



Markus Braun.

© imago images/Sven Simon

Olaf Scholz ensures compliance with old folk wisdom

Addendum: The big ones are let go, the little ones are hanged: Ironically, the social democrat Olaf Scholz ensures that this old popular saying is upheld.



Olaf Scholz.

© imago images/Alex Halada

Neither the Berlin supervisory bodies nor the managers in Bonn responsible for controlling Wirecard are being prosecuted. For this, however, one loses Most of the workforce of the financial service provider the workplace. Around 730 of 1,300 employees will be given notice, declared the insolvency administrator yesterday Michael Jaffé.

The joys of the Americans are the pains of the Europeans

Donald Trump doesn’t need a new trade war with Europe – he has the dollar. Its exchange rate against the euro is falling and falling, which makes it more than just easier for American exporters to export. Because: If the dollar falls and the euro rises, US goods become cheaper.




The joys of Americans are the pains of Europeans. European exporters – and that means German industry in particular – are troubled by the solid euro. Goods worth over 200 billion euros only the German corporations, first and foremost the auto, chemical and mechanical engineering industries in the USA. Most of the costs – wages and intermediate products – are incurred in the hard currency euro, while the proceeds are settled in the soft currency dollar.

There are essentially two reasons behind the tension in the transatlantic monetary system to lead:

First: The exchange relations of the currencies are always a mirror of the economic resilience. America is vulnerable in the midst of the pandemic. It is unclear whether the country will face lockdown after a Democratic takeover. Joe Biden presents himself to voters as the early Merkel.

Secondly: The dollar is losing its nimbus as an anchor currency. Whereas in the past every shock in the world – oil price shocks, terrorist attacks, threat of war – animated investors to buy dollars, the “flight to safety”, this time the USA itself is the epicenter of political uncertainty. Trump is Mount Vesuvius from Washington. He can spit ash and lava at any time.



Donald Trump.

© imago images/ZUMA Wire

Conclusion: In view of this currency disparity, Germany has to secure the cost base of its domestic production – also on the wage side – in view of this currency disparity. In other words: if the euro hits the gas, it should Wage policy slow down. This connection is socio-politically fatal, politically undesirable and nevertheless imperative for the economy as a whole.

Schools in NRW are not allowed to exclude students without masks

Crashing defeat for the Düsseldorf state government: Schools in North Rhine-Westphalia are not allowed to exclude students without a mask from lessons. The Düsseldorf administrative court pointed this out on Tuesday. After refusing to wear masks, two students at a grammar school in the Lower Rhine region defended themselves against the exclusion from classes in court – with success.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, students have to attend secondary schools Wear a mask in class and during breaks. This causes frustration in the educational institutions. Laschet is coming under increasing pressure with his school policy:

The School Management Association of the country has criticized the responsible ministry in an open letter. As early as the second paragraph of the letter, it says that school policy is taking “too little” of the actual ones in connection with the organization of school lessons under the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic Framework the schools was.

“The requirements of the Ministry of Education can hardly be met due to the local conditions and the general school conditions!”

Almost 44,000 people have already signed an online petition against the requirement to wear a mask in schools. It was initiated by Miriam Schmitz, a woman who says in the Morning Briefing Podcast:

“I have a child in high school, fifth grade. My little one came to this school brand new and would have liked to get to know his classmates. But with the mask requirement, he has never seen half of his class.”

Louisa Dellert in the Moring Briefing Podcast

Louisa Dellert, better known as Lou, visited us at PioneerOne yesterday. The 31 year old is Entrepreneur, podcaster and influencer. She has around 400,000 followers on Instagram. I spoke to her for the Morning Briefing Podcast – about the contradictions of Corona politics, the human longing for closeness and her idea of ​​eroticism in times of the pandemic.




Electoral reform in the coalition committee

The coalition committee met last night under the leadership of the Chancellor. Two topics were in the foreground: On the one hand, there was electoral reform, which is intended to prevent the Bundestag from constantly growing and soon becoming larger than the People’s Congress in China.

The result:

  • Everything that helps not to make the corona consequences noticeable was decided. So an extension of the Short-time allowance and the enactment of Social contributions for companies in need.
  • The painful one for the MPs Reform of the Bundestag – because a reduction in size means the elimination of mandates – was postponed to the next legislative period.

My colleagues from the “Hauptstadt-Newsletter” have more information about the negotiation marathon that has ended.

The dispute between Turkey and Greece is coming to a head



Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

© imago images/ANE Edition

The dispute between Turkey and Greece over the Turkish Natural gas explorations off the Greek islands is becoming more acute. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has now called on both NATO partners for talks during a visit to Athens:

“What we urgently need now are signals of de-escalation and a willingness to engage in dialogue.”

The situation in the eastern Mediterranean has become one “Play with the fire” according to the SPD politician.

“Even the smallest spark can lead to a disaster.”

At the same time, Maas escalated the conflict by standing behind Greece. He assured Athens the full support of the EU, which in Ankara would be considered impossible Willingness to dialogue can interpret. Conclusion: The honest man Maas made his appearance as an arsonist.

The great fearless man in the German economy



Michael Mronz.

© picture alliance/dpa

Michael Mronz is the great fearless man in the German economy. The organizer of Europe’s largest horse show, who cannot ride himself at all, is also the most committed operator of an Olympics in Germany in 2032. He wants to start the sports facilities Rhine and Ruhr connect to a large Olympic Park, which should not result in any building ruins and no additional ecological costs. “Rhein Ruhr City 2032” is what he calls his initiative, which the NRW state government and meanwhile the Olympic Committee support.

But what do they think Citizen? At least in Munichwhen it came to the 2018 Winter Olympics, they thwarted the Olympic planners democratically. But Mronz, the indestructible, believes not only in the radiance of the Olympics, but also in the beauty of democracy. On the Morning Briefing Podcast, he says:

“I am convinced that people would like and enjoy saying yes to this idea of ​​the Olympics.”

Indeed, the new thing about the Mronz Plan is that the region should not suffer for the Olympics, but rather benefit from the Olympics. The cultural “We in NRW” would be achieved through investments in Mobility and digitality economically primed: gold for North Rhine-Westphalia.

I wish you an optimistic start to the new day. Sincerely yours

Gabor Steingart

“Steingarts Morning Briefing” provides information on current world and economic events. The “Pre-Breakfast Medium” is a modern form of the miniature daily newspaper which, in addition to news, comments and graphics, also publishes exclusive interviews with opinion leaders from politics, business and culture. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business.

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