Paulo Sergio Silva, 36, a trader for the brokerage arm of Brazilian banking giant Itau (ITAU4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), shot himself in the chest during the afternoon trading session, the exchange said, and hospital staff said he was in critical condition.
Silva was given first aid on the scene before being transported to the hospital, BM&F Bovespa SA (BVMF3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which operates the exchange, said in a statement without providing further details.
Traders said the incident happened in the interest rate futures pit, a raucous circle where on average $21 billion worth of contracts exchange hands every day.
Brazil's financial markets have taken a pounding in recent months as the global credit crunch has spread, causing massive losses for investors and companies alike.
Brazil's main stock index, the Bovespa .BVSP, has plunged more than 50 percent since hitting an all-time high in late May. The local currency, the real BRBY, has shed a third of its value since touching a nine-year high in early August.
Meanwhile, in India, The Telegraph of Calcutta has reported on a Gurgaon beverage dealer, apparently staggering under the weight of stock losses, who has died by suicide after leaving behind a note donating his eyes.
Rajendra Gupta, in his late 30s, hanged himself from the ceiling with his wife’s sari on Saturday night, November 15th, at his home in the Helimandi police station area of Gurgaon, near Delhi.
It isn’t clear how much money Gupta lost in the market crash but police said he had started investing in shares a few months ago, hoping to boost his earnings.
In his suicide note, Gupta, father of two kids, said he was unable to bear the huge losses following the crash.
“My last request to my family is to donate my eyes,” he wrote.
A police officer said it was possible Gupta had taken loans to invest and was finding it difficult to repay them.
Since the family accepted his request to donate his eyes, a civil hospital doctor removed them and conducted the post-mortem,” sub-inspector Hawa Singh of Helimandi police station said over the phone from Gurgaon.
Gupta’s soft drinks agency on Gurgaon’s Pataudi Road was said to be doing well, which has left his family struggling to understand what drove him to risk investing in stocks.
Stock market related suicides are being reported in Korea, as well. The gloomy stock market in South Korea has begun to claim victims with investors committing suicide after losing money in the recent series of crashes.
According to police reports, a 47-year-old man from Gwangju who suffered serious depression after huge losses on the stock market, died by suicide on October 25, 2008.
He invested 370 million won after taking out a mortgage on his house and using his life insurance as security for the loan two years ago, but the recent financial recession resulted in him losing about 60 percent of his total investment.
"When the nation's stock market index fell below 1,000 [earlier in October], he stopped eating and went on a drinking binge for days and finally decided to kill himself,'' his wife was quoted as saying to police.
On the same day, a couple in their 60s from Busan were saved by police during their suicide attempt.
They borrowed 100 million won from a security company last year and invested 130 million won on the stock market. But they lost most of the money in the recent crashes.
On Oct. 22, a 42-year-old branch manager of an insurance company was found dead in an apparent suicide on a mountain in Gongju, South Chungcheong Province. Police believe that he killed himself due to concerns over losses his firm recorded with various insurance products.
On Oct. 9, a 32-year-old employee from a security firm was found hanging at an inn in Seoul, which police claimed was also related to the stock market crash.
In the United Kingdom, rumblings about the "first" market crash suicide are still in the papers.
On a mild Thursday morning in late September 2008, Kirk Stephenson, a London investment-fund executive, ate breakfast with his wife and eight-year-old son, then drove to a train station about 30 miles from his Chelsea home.
As an express train approached, Mr. Stephenson stepped onto the tracks, according to British Transport Police. The driver applied emergency brakes but couldn't stop in time. Mr. Stephenson, 47 years old, died at the scene.
...wrote Ianthe Jeanne Dugan and Cassell Bryan-Low in the article "In a Suicide, Crisis and Life Cross," published in the November 15, 2008 issue of The Wall Street Journal.
Nick Cohen of London's Observer on November 9th, noted:
The Buckinghamshire coroner has yet to hear the case of Kirk Stephenson, but Fleet Street already knows why he threw himself in front of an express train. He was the "first City suicide of the credit crunch" (the Mirror). His death "evokes memories of the 1929 Wall Street crash" (the Mail).
(Reuters reporting by Daniela Machado and Filipe Pacheco, writing by Todd Benson; editing by Eric Beech; unnamed correspondent in India; Kim Tae-jong in Korea.)