This paper examines the antecedents and consequences of the collapse of Wirecard AG, in June 2020, the “German Enron.” Specifically, we investigate how the Wirecard’s ineffective corporate governance under the German’s financial regulatory system fails to serve their stakeholders, and how its management’s unethical behavior of earnings manipulation contribute to significant financial collapse for the company, and lead to the destruction of shareholders’ value. This paper examines how the internal and external governance and monitoring mechanisms failed to uncover the vast fraud at the German payments group at a much earlier stage. Furthermore, we find evidence consistent with the hypothesis that the continuous pressure of meeting or exceeding consensus on earnings estimates, management’s performance compensation based on the growth of Wirecard’s stock price, and the lack of proper supervision from the board of directors ultimately create the opportunities for management to manipulate earnings without being uncovered for several years. Such course of action has caused significant financial corporate misconduct for Wirecard and led to the destruction of firm value.
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