In the heat of this unfolding crisis, vice-chancellors accidentally reveal the underlying logics of the spreadsheet. Budgets must be reduced, savings must be made; they tell us this as they consult the spreadsheet that surrounds them like a moat. The spreadsheet contains hard data, raw data, objective truths, they say. The numbers don’t lie. But the document is as much an operation of judgement as it is one of fiscal analysis; the spreadsheet obscures as much as it reveals.