The minister, for the record, denies being intoxicated. He blamed his behavior on fatigue and a cocktail of medications. Either way, the intense pressure of trying to rescue a national economy from a global financial meltdown got to Shoichi Nakagawa somehow.
Prime minister, cabinet and government of Iceland
Amid economic collapse, near insolvency and bitter street protests, Iceland's prime minister Geir Haarde quit, ostensibly due to health reasons. This was followed by the resignation of the Commerce Minister, then the resignation of Haarde's entire cabinet. The country's coalition government then collapsed.
Suicides, various, attempted and completed
Multiple investors in Bernie Madoff's ponzi-scheme "hedge fund" killed themselves, including French money-management CEO Thierry de la Villehuchet, who stabbed himself to death with a box cutter, and retired British military officer William Foxton, who shot himself in the head.
No one doubts that the Fed chairman is under intense strain. ""I just can't imagine the kind of pressure he's under," the principal of his hometown high school, who knew Bernanke as a boy, recently told the Wall Street Journal. "He's got the burden of the entire world on his shoulders." He's held up well enough, but sometimes the stress shows through.