German businessman and billionaire Adolf Merckle has committed suicide according to news reports. The German billionaire is ranked the 98th richest man in the world, and known in the industry as the one whose speculation in the volatile Volkswagen stock has pushed his business to the edge of ruin. In a family statement, the family said that the his distress on his firms that were caused by the financial crisis plus the uncertainties has broken the spirits of the businessman and ended his life. The police said that a note has been found, but this note was not made public. His involvement in Volkswagen was considered to be the main cause of his distress. It was his poorly timed bet on the Volkswagen shares caused much of his personal problems.
This is not the first time that a businessman took his own life simply because his business holdings are crumbling like house of cards. For sure there are a lot of cases out there, but what interests me was the other suicide which happened just before the year ends. Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet also killed himself and the reason- the money lost over a failed business venture. In Rene-Thierry’s case, he lost his money in a Ponzi-like scheme ran by Madoff. Based on many news reports, the businessman lost his family and his client’s money which is worth $1.4 billion. And this, according to news reports depressed the businessman and led him to take his own life. He was found dead at his desk in New York, wrists slashed and bottle of pills seen near him. According to his brother, Rene-Thierry invested all of his own funds, plus the money of his friends and family on the scheme run by Bernard Madoff who in turn was arrested December 11 last year. These events will tells so much about the financial crisis and tells even more about man’s affinity to money. Perhaps, they cannot be faulted for doing that since they may have thrown away the money of others but if it is only their money then will that be enough reason to end one’s life?