A cluster of high-profile suicides has attracted a fair amount of attention as well as sympathy for those who have taken their lives and for those they left behind. Here's a partial list of those who either explicitly blamed economic misfortune for their deaths or whose deaths were linked to the economy by the police.
1) Adolf Merckle, industrialist
January 6, 2009
Merckle, 74, managed the fortune built by his German family.
The conglomerate, which included stakes in a pharmaceutical wholesaler, generic-drug maker, cement company, and bus manufacturer, was hit hard by Merckle's failed speculation on Volkswagen stock. He bet VW would fall, but it quadrupled in two days last October after Porsche revealed it had options to buy virtually all of the outstanding shares.
Bankers told Reuters the family lost about 400 million euros — roughly half a billion dollars at the time — on the VW bet.
2. Steven Good, real estate executive
January 6, 2009
Good, 52, was chief executive of Sheldon Good & Co.
His Chicago firm is one of the nation's largest real-estate auction houses. His death came amid great turmoil in the country's real estate industry. In his role as chairman of the Realtors Commercial Alliance Committee, Good commented on tough conditions last month at a business conference.
3. René-Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet, investor
December 23, 2008
De la Villehuchet, 65, was the founder of Access International Advisors.
A French aristocrat and the former chairman and C.E.O. of Credit Lyonnais Securities USA, de la Villehuchet had invested $1.4 billion of his and his clients money with Bernard L. Madoff, who earlier in December said that his business was an enormous Ponzi fraud.