Porsche High Stakes Poker Claims A Life

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
porsche high stakes poker claims a life

When Porsche, led by Wendelin Wiedeking and his CFO Holger Härter engineered the classical short squeeze, when they drove the VW share into the stratosphere and hedge funds into deep losses, the men received applause. Hedge funds are supposed to know what they are doing. And no kittens were harmed.

Yesterday evening, a 74 year old man walked in front of an oncoming train near the German city of Ulm. He used to be a billionaire. He used to be on the 94th place of Forbes’ list of richest people. Adolf Merckle had placed his bets on the wrong side of the Volkswagen game.

He was in the process of losing the companies and the $9.2b he owned. He chose death instead.

“Merckle had gotten into trouble through a mistaken gamble on Volkswagen stocks, among other things,” writes the German paper Die Welt. Merckle’s family issued a statement, quoted by Bloomberg. It reads: “The dedicated family businessman was broken by his inability to handle the situation and he ended his own life.” Suicide by train is a German favorite.

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4 of 26 comments
  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Jan 06, 2009

    @ 06M3S54B32 Suicide is a sadness and selfishness all in one. Your comments (and a few others here) are appalling.

  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Jan 06, 2009

    Pete, I hope you have never been close to someone who has taken their own life. It is sad and hard for those who are still here. The underlying reasons people do themselves in are so wide that it is hard to generalize. Yes, for some, it's as was mentioned, a permanent solution to a temporary problem. For others, it's the only solution. Everyone deals with death differently, but life is about those who are still here. If you ever have cops or med techs as friends, you'll learn that most deal by being what would appear to be callous or macabre. Most are warm caring people, but if one starts feeling for every corpse you'll lose you're f'ing mind. In a hurry. I'm not saying not to care.

  • Kurt. Kurt. on Jan 07, 2009

    Everyone dies. I'm sure Porsche feels no remorse. Look, when a child throws a temper tantrum for loosing a toy, you don't feel sorry for them. This was a temper tantrum from an adult. I feel sorry for the people who have to deal with his remaining responsibilities after his selfish permenant removal from responsibility.

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Jan 09, 2009

    I almost forgot I had posted an inflammatory remark on this one! "For the split second the train barrelled into him and smashed every bone in his body, it must have hurt like hell. I don’t understand why people don’t choose calmer ways to die, like overdosing." I doubt he felt anything. I was in a serious auto accident with shattered bones and didn't feel anything until I came back to reality about three hours after it happened. With overdosing, you probably have some time to think about the fact that you're dying and the possibility that you could potentially live through it. I'd be much calmer knowing I'll be instantly dead once the final decision is made. "There’s a big difference between witnessing death, and being responsible for it, even—especially—if that responsibility is forced upon you by the suicide’s choice. Imagine someone throws him/herself in front of your car. You try and stop, but fail and they’re killed or badly maimed. Try and visualize your state of mind, the thoughts you might have like “Could I have stopped sooner? What about his/her family?”." "I’m quit amazed at the callousness of this statement, and the denial of reality. Being involved in someone’s death, even involuntarily, can be a hugely traumatic event for people." I'd be upset if there's damage to my car, and I'd continue to be bothered that we don't allow people to legally carry out peaceful methods of suicide, but that's about it. I can relate to a tortured soul, and I'd be happy for the "victim". I understand that it actually takes a lot of courage to leave everything you have ever known and all the little things that have comforted you in life in order to find some way to escape the darkness of this world. I guess I just can't relate to the mindset of happy people and what the concept of death does to them. That's why I say hey man nice shot.