Thursday, January 8, 2009

Financiers checking out: The Greenspan body count

By Rolfe Winkler at Option ARMageddon:

Three prominent financiers/executives have committed suicide this week, and these guys are choosing gruesome ways to go out.

Steven Good swallowed a bullet:

Real-estate executive Steven L. Good was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday in his Jaguar in a forest preserve outside Chicago, said the Kane County Sheriff’s Department.

Mr. Good, 52 years old, was chief executive of Sheldon Good & Co., one of the nation’s largest real-estate auction firms. His father founded the company in 1965…

As chairman of the Realtors Commercial Alliance Committee, Mr. Good said last month in an industry outlook news release that market conditions were “very challenging.”

Villehuchet slit his wrists:

A French executive who invested with accused swindler Bernard Madoff was found dead in an apparent suicide on Tuesday, reportedly distraught over losing up to $1.4 billion (955 billion pounds) in client money.

Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, 65, a co-founder of money manager Access International, was found dead on the 22nd floor of a New York City office building, officials said.

He slit both wrists with box cutters, and appeared to bleed to death, according to a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Adolf Merckle went with the Anna Karenina exit:

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 stock market venture that backfired. Yesterday, his family blamed the credit crunch for his death.

And for good measure, Sonja Kohn “dropped out of sight:”

With an aggressive style that stood out in the staid world of Austrian banking even more than her bouffant red wig, Sonja Kohn made few friends gathering billions for Bernard L. Madoff from wealthy investors in Russia and across Europe.

Now, she has even fewer. Mrs. Kohn has dropped out of sight, leaving the firm she founded, Bank Medici, in the hands of Austrian regulators, who took it over last week.

Embarrassment from investing heavily with Mr. Madoff could explain wanting to disappear from public view. But another theory widely repeated by those who know Mrs. Kohn is that she may be afraid of some particularly displeased investors: Russian oligarchs whose money made up a chunk of the $2.1 billion that Bank Medici invested with Mr. Madoff.

Blame Greenspan? His “body-count” here.

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