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Credit Crisis claims another elite investor

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This latest suicide related to the credit crisis reminded me of the general belief that in 1929, many stockbrokers jumped out of windows as they heard about their loses. As an econ professor friend recently told me, Galbraith had analyzed the suicide rates before and after the Crash and there was no noticeable change. There were some suicides around the US though stories of window jumping were mostly false. It's what many people wanted to hear but the facts were not there to support the common story. During this crisis, the Madoff scandal has claimed one investor and now the fifth wealthiest German, billionaire businessman and investor Adolf Merckle.

He seemed to be the epitome of the respectable German industrialist: a modest family man who strove to avoid publicity. But behind the scenes, the billionaire entrepreneur Adolf Merckle speculated and gambled away his fortune. On Monday, his body was pulled from under a train.

The 74-year-old pillar of Germany's business community and the country's fifth richest man committed suicide after losing millions in a high-risk stockmarket venture that backfired. Yesterday, his family blamed the credit crunch for his death.

His body was found on tracks 300 yards from his family's villa in Blaubeuren, near Ulm in south Germany. Police said he left a suicide note.

Mr Merckle became one of the most prominent victims of the financial crisis. In a statement, his family said he was broken by the struggle to salvage their business empire. The world's 94th-richest person in 2008, according to Forbes magazine, Mr Merckle spent his life building a business conglomerate with 100,000 employees.

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