Suicide Question

I can understand how people who feel ashamed for having done something irretrievably wrong in the current economic mess might kill themselves – like a Bernie Madoff (though his smirking pictures make you think he’s not close to contemplating that). But it’s harder to understand why someone like that German multi-billionaire killed himself the other day. Unless there’s more that will come out, it seems like he was losing control of much of the empire he’d spent decades creating – but thanks to bad bets and mismanagement, not because of improprieties or fraud. If that’s the case, he killed himself basically because he had lost most of his money.

Maybe I’m not thinking about this right, and obviously someone else’s emotional state is a mystery to outsiders, but to kill yourself because you don’t have as much money as you once did seems an awful reason to want to die. Of course this stuff happens (indeed, I just heard about a Palm beach wife who’s leaving her husband because he just lost everything, and she doesn’t want to support him with her trust fund. Nice.) Maybe it was because the German guy felt he let down employees and investors? I don’t know. Wonder what others think.


Blogger Bill Karwin said...

I'm sure the German ex-billionaire didn't commit suicide simply because he had lost a lot of money. People sometimes consider suicide out of a feeling of being trapped, or powerless.

No doubt that German billionaire had many obligations to people who were previously almost as powerful as him, but who are now much more powerful than him.

The prospect of facing these people after such a power shift must have been terrifying for him.

January 12, 2009 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I think you commit suicide, to borrow a phrase from comedian Doug Stanhope, when you don't think the rest of the movie will be any better than the part you've already sat through.

As Bill said-he was trapped. He felt the uses of the world were stale, flat, and unprofitable.

Some days, I can see his point.

January 12, 2009 at 5:02 PM  

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