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Steinhoff


rogermunibond
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^So you probably looked at the PWC March 2019 report:

http://www.steinhoffinternational.com/downloads/2019/overview-of-forensic-investigation.pdf

 

Sometimes more can be learned from failures than from successes. There are many parallels with Enron, a company I was following (and appreciating to some degree). The red flags were confirmed mostly though after the fact. There was this report published in 2018 which is potentially useful:

https://www.usb.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/USB-Management-Report-Steinhoff-Saga.pdf

 

Contrary to the Enron saga, I haven't looked deeply at Steinhoff's financial statements but I don't think I could have spotted red flags in real time, although regulators had been making some noise for some time. The main 'culprit' appears to be the superhuman and charismatic CEO. We love CEOs who push the limit but, at some point, the limit becomes a slippery slope. For those who may want to draw criticism at the Board, it must have been very difficult (as the report nicely puts it) for specific individuals to stand up against a very much ingrained consensus view which included a crowd populated by very bright and influencial lights. As a sidenote, another cenacle of wise minds, the ECB, lost a lot of socialized money when they saw the light and sold the bonds. Final point: This is only a red flag type of comment but, while reviewing Steinhoff's failure, I couldn't help making a connection with another star CEO who shows a similar type of arrogance..

 

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