Another Financier Kills Self: Adolf Merckle Jumps Before Train

Geez, Louise. Another powerful financier was just found dead. This time, the victim was 74-year-old billionaire Adolf Merckle, who apparently jumped before a train near his hometown of Blauberen, Germany some time yesterday.

Merckle had been unsuccessfully seeking a bailout for his own family’s holding company, VEM Vermoegensverwaltung GmbH, which has seen the value of stakes in companies like Volkswagen AG and drug wholesaler Phoenix Pharmahandel AG, drop precipitously in recent months. Apparently, Merckle owed banks roughly $6.7 billion and had been seeking emergency funding from a group of them, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank.

Two weeks ago, Thierry de la Villehuchet, a 65-year-old French hedge fund adviser who reportedly lost $1.5 billion investing with Bernie Madoff, was found dead in his New York office after an apparent suicide.

Also on Monday, 52-year-old Chicago real-estate executive Steven Good was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Jaguar. Good was CEO of Sheldon Good & Co., a business his father started in 1965 and that has since become one of the nation’s largest real-estate auction firms. It’s not yet known if Good was reacting to financial duress.