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Raising Cash


Blockbuster superstar movie maker Nicolas Cage has found himself in what’s been described as catastrophic financial circumstances.  The actor attributes his situation to his former shady money manager for which he is suing to recoup his losses.  Mr. Cage actually had to sell off his castle in Bavaria.  He has put a couple of his houses in New Orleans on the market.  They’re both worth over three million dollars.  Mr. Cage is also selling off deep pocket properties in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

How could one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors find himself in deep money troubles?  In his lawsuit, Mr. Cage claims that his former business manager financially enriched himself with several million dollars in fees while Mr. Cage’s finances were taking a turn for the worse.  With all that poor management, it is surprising that Mr. Cage could scrape up any money to buy German castles and mansions and other pieces of real estate all over the country.  In the court papers filed in Los Angeles, Mr. Cage says he relied on his manager to handle his financial affairs to ensure that he and his family would have a financially secure future.  But now, poor Mr. Cage is forced to sell major assets at huge losses and it is entirely his manager’s fault.  What’s a super mega star to do?

Just a few days ago there was a story floating around about Antoine Walker, the former mega basketball star, who earned nine figures over the course of twelve years of running up and down the court, but is now deep in financial trouble and falling deeper.  People were ready to say straight up that Mr. Walker had a lavish lifestyle that was bound to put him in the poor house.  And everybody was ready to believe Mr. Walker was financially irresponsible.  We are ready to believe that it was his own fault.

And yet, when we hear something similar about Mr. Cage, buying house after house and living on the edge in a similarly reckless rush to financial ruin, many of us are ready to believe that there is a logical reason for his situation that might resolve Mr. Cage of all or at least most of the blame.  He may have been culpable, but there are extenuating circumstances.  He needed all of his high dollar homes.  He deserved to live a life worthy of any here today gone tomorrow rapper featured on MTV Cribs, but now wants to cry foul because it was his manager’s job to watch out for the Cage family’s financial future.

With enough clout to demand about twenty millions dollars to do a movie, Mr. Cage is a virtual money making machine.  It is estimated that in the past year alone he has earned something in the neighborhood of forty million dollars.  But rumor has it that right now he’s in debt to the IRS to the tune of more than six million dollars.  He’s having a sale in order to stay in the good graces of the national revenue collectors.  And even if his take home was only twenty million dollars it seems that such an income wouldn’t have that much trouble raising six million dollars.  So this begs the question what responsible person burns through that kind of cash so quickly?

Whether or not Mr. Cage is worth all those houses and a bag of chips is besides the point.  There is little difference between Mr. Cage and the previously mentioned Mr. Walker.  The point is that there may be a perception that Mr. Cage may have been duped and is somehow deserving of a little compassion while people could not care less about Mr. Walker.  But his manager didn’t force any mansions down Mr. Cage’s throat.  Mr. Cage pulled that off all by himself.

There is little doubt that Mr. Cage will bounce back from these financial woes.  A quick glance of his future filmography shows that Mr. Cage is scheduled to release six movies over the next couple of years and there is little doubt there will be more after that.  Although he might be broke now he will recover.  This too shall pass and relatively quickly, unlike the financial woes of a has been with no future like Mr. Walker.  There’s little doubt Mr. Cage would live anything like his character portrayal of trailer park trash H.I. McDunnough in Raising Arizona.

But hopefully he’ll learn from this experience.  He might be a little smarter and resist the urge to buy some castle in the Alps simply because he heard it’s for sale.  If it truly was his manager’s fault that he went on his buying spree, then maybe he should be thanking his manager for opening his eyes and showing Mr. Cage how living so close to the edge could be disastrous.  Even mega stars like Nicolas Cage would do well to learn to live well within their means.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts

1 Comment »

  1. I, for one, saw no differences between the two. Business manager or not, you’re still supposed to know what’s going on with your own finances. Neither Cage nor Walker get a pass but I think I’d like to see celeb’s get a little more privacy in regards to their embarrassing mishandling of money. I don’t think it’s our business. I don’t think it teaches anyone anything. Just gives people something to scoff at and feel better than about. I think we all can relate to money problems–and for regular folks, often these problems are not entirely of our own causing yet it still is a huge headache. Let these celebrities handle their self-made financial fiascoes in private–they have to deal both with the money woes and with the regret and self-deprecation and feelings of stupidity which is all the more complicated by the public eye constantly on them.

    Comment by Chi-Chi | Thursday, November 5, 2009 | Reply

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