23 April 2011

How to blow through $100million ... and still come out ahead

McCourts in happier times

L.A. Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt:  Same Problems as Mere Mortals

If the rich really do lead different lives, as the old saw goes, then it follows that the super-rich should lead extraordinarily different lives.  As a 4th generation Californian, born in San Diego, but reared in Los Angeles, my allegiance lies with the Los Angeles Lakers and the L.A Dodgers.  Enter Frank McCourt, owner of the Dodgers, he the great equalizer between the rich and the average everyman.  He the great shrinker of the delta that is the gulf betwixt those with some number followed by six zeros in their bank accounts, and those of us who sometimes have no zeros to speak of, save for the two after the decimal point.   The monied and the financially maimed, viz., Frank and me.

In general, the well-heeled have more second homes, more and certainly nicer cars (why not throw in a private jet while we’re at it), and absolutely they travel a great deal more, especially to exotic, foreign lands, than the average American (the private jet comes in handy).   But, in many ways the rich and uber-wealthy are exactly like their less wealthy counterparts.

If his life is any indication, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is living proof that the rich have the exact same problems that the rest of us average folks encounter on any given day.  They divorce like the rest of us --but in much grander style and scale and with far more publicity, of course.  They have money problems (which, granted, must be measured on the Richter scale) like us.  And, they sometimes run businesses into the ground like the rest of us mere mortals.

The McCourt's (Frank and his wife Jamie are divorcing after a 30-year marriage) have admitted to siphoning off $100 million from the Dodgers organization to fund their lavish lifestyle over the last seven years.  To see how much wife Jamie McCourt has been granted in spousal support, click the link below:

Jamie McCourt was recently granted temporary spousal support of almost $700k per month from her husband Frank to maintain her lifestyle. Frank not only has personal financial stress with their eight homes around the world, and the spousal support to wifey, but business as well.

Frank McCourt, it has been recently revealed, has been juggling the books to keep the lights on, including the newly installed parking lot light at Dodgers stadium (after a recent attack against a San Francisco Giants fan). Besides the Dodgers players’ $105 million payroll, the Dodgers organization now has the former LAPD chief and a former mayoral candidate on salary, and a fleet of attorneys on standby. He recently secured a $30million bridge loan from Fox (News Corp) which precipitated the commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig to take over running the team until the McCourt's divorce is finalized, and the team is set aright financially once again, which most likely means the end of the Frank McCourt’s ownership of team Dodgers.

But, don’t feel too bad for Frank McCourt for too long. The team, which was purchased by the McCourt's when it was valued around $400 million, today, many predict, the Dodgers would fetch almost a billion dollars should it be sold-off by the MLB to the highest bidder. Also helping increase that value further north is a recent agreement for $3billion between Fox and the Dodgers for a 20-year broadcast rights contract. The super rich lead extraordinarily different lives, and like a cat with a diamond studded collar, land on their feet in luxury style.

Lest I be accused of promoting some sort of schadenfreude against the Dodgers or Frank McCourt (LuxeMont's headquarters (which I founded almost 20 yrs ago) is in San Diego, after all, and they do have season tickets to the Padres), not so.  We believe healthy competition is a good thing, and having an arch nemesis in baseball keeps one young with a purpose, eternally battling to win the division pennant. Besides, as stated, I bleed Dodgers blue.

The super rich lead extraordinarily different lives, and like the cat with a diamond-studded collar that slips off the veranda in Palm Beach, they land on their feet in luxury style.  But I repeat myself.