Behind Germany’s Potemkin Village of an energy grid.
Not surprisingly, a wind farm operator is at the center of Germany’s latest major financial swindle.
With 1,300 employees, Prokon is a relatively small company. Yet its advertisements were well-known to Germans. They always had three parts: pictures of a wind farm; a vague message that “something” had to be “changed”; and a request to make a loan to Prokon. In return, one was promised nothing less than “a future worth living,” and 8 percent interest per annum.
One of these propositions must have been alluring to many Germans, for the company successfully gathered about 1.3 billion euros (2 billion dollars) in borrowed capital. That’s small money compared to Enron, Lehman Brothers, or Greece, but in the case of Prokon, no banks or equity funds were involved. All of the capital came from retail investors, some of whom gave a big chunk of their lifetime savings, according to media reports.
Now, we know that the whole operation was a Ponzi scheme. The interest was paid with the money from newcomers. Journalists are adding insult to injury, asking how Prokon´s creditors could have been so naïve with such an “extraordinarily high” interest rate being promised. Some coverage has mentioned that many of the investors were allegedly “elderly people.” Weiterlesen