How did a journalist with a relentless appetite for the truth, bring down a $30bn German tech company? The company in question is Wirecard and the journalist is my guest on this episode, FT reporter Dan McCrum. He’s just released a new book called...
How did a journalist with a relentless appetite for the truth, bring down a $30bn German tech company? The company in question is Wirecard and the journalist is my guest on this episode, FT reporter Dan McCrum. He’s just released a new book called ‘Money Men: A Hot Startup, A Billion Dollar Fraud, A Fight For The Future’ in which he explores both the story of Wirecard and its downfall and the efforts he went to as a journalist to investigate it.
In what was one of the — if not *the* — financial investigations of the decade, Dan and his FT colleagues pursued a story of fraud, that is ready-made for a movie. Yet, it's a real-life story that reveals hidden worlds of short-sellers and whistleblowers, pornographers and private militias, hackers and spies. In Money Men, Dan explains not only the story of WireCard but also how he and his colleagues went about investigating it.
In our discussion, we explore:
- How Dan became a Financial Times journalist;
- The types of story he likes to investigate and why WireCard fascinated him;
- The lengths reporters need to go to, in order to get to the story;
- How short sellers helped provide valuable insights;
- The astonishing response of the German authorities to the Wirecard story;
- Some incredible stories that unfolded as Dan investigated;
- The personal toll such a story takes on a reporter;
- The role of cognitive biases in reporting and our perception of the world.
To find out more about Money Men, which is out now, visit https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/144/1444756/money-men/9781787635043.html
The German version is called The House of Wirecard: https://www.ullstein-buchverlage.de/nc/buch/details/house-of-wirecard-9783430210645.html
To learn more about Dan’s investigation you can read this FT profile:https://www.ft.com/content/745e34a1-0ca7-432c-b062-950c20e41f03
Dan also spoke at ECEC — Europe’s largest Ethics & Compliance Conference in 2020 – you can watch a recording of that here: https://www.eqs.com/compliance-knowledge/events/ecec-mccrum/
ECEC is returning soon, so do join me at ECEC 2022 in October. You can get your free virtual ticket here:https://www.ecec-community.com/