How to lose millions and win friends

Posted Oct. 02, 2009, at 6:05 p.m.

Just when I think I am the dumbest person on planet Earth when it comes to money (see “Florida land purchase”) and refinancing, along comes a parade of richer, even dumber investors. Hey, I never inherited $5 million to begin with, like the mystery man, Donald Trump.

For reasons too complicated for me to understand, the Dairy Queen-haired Trump keeps appearing on my television. Why the rude and imperious Trump has not been beaten senseless is beyond me. He makes Rosie O’Donnell look good.

The Donald inherited $5 mil when he turned 21, I believe. Somehow, he went bankrupt running a casino that bears his name.

How can you lose money in a casino? The Donald can. The other owners paid him $2.2 million just to get rid of him. Trump responded by filing a $5 billion lawsuit against a reporter who dared to say he was “only” a millionaire, not a billionaire. The suit was dismissed, if you can believe that.

I hate Lenny Dykstra, too. Dykstra, known universally as “Nails,” was a baseball tough guy who played for the 1986 Mets team that stabbed the Red Sox to death in the World Series.

“Nails” put all his money into The Players Club, a lifestyle and financial magazine that did not prove to be a huge success. His partners, Doubledown Media, sued him before the third edition was published.

And I think I am bad.

“Nails” filed for bankruptcy protection in June, reporting a mere $50,000 in assets, compared with liabilities in the neighborhood of $10 million to $50 million. Some neighborhood. His 1986 World Series ring is up for sale. Serves him right. But don’t feel too bad. Dykstra still gets around in his Rolls Royce and Gulfstream jet. .

A lot of people bought “too much house” in the good old days (six years ago.) My hero, Evander Holyfield, made $250 million while serving as heavyweight champion, so he thought a suitable house would be a $20 million, 54,000-square-foot “compound” with 109 rooms, a bowling alley and a movie theater.

Who needs 109 rooms?

It seems that Evander had several expensive divorces and several failed business ventures (see “Florida land purchase”). Now, the maintenance alone on the Atlanta mansion tops a cool mil. He has avoided one foreclosure, but more are expected.

But the all-time financial boob was Michael Vick. Vick signed a $130 million contract to play football for the Atlanta Falcons, the highest contract at that time. You might have noticed that Vick later pleaded guilty to charges related to dog fighting and spent two years in federal prison.

Let’s forget the morality of killing animals for fun and profit when you are already filthy rich. He was earning $7 million on endorsements alone.

That’s seven million dollars.

Even if all of your pals want you to fund a dog-fighting ring, and you are tempted, you must say “wait.” If you are making millions in the NFL, you should concentrate on playing football until your career ends, which can be any given Sunday in that incredibly violent sport. You wait until retirement to succumb to your vice of choice.

Let’s not feel too sorry for Michael, despite his ridiculous jail sentence and bankruptcy. He has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for $1.6 million this year and $5.2 million for next year (local headline: “Hide your Beagle, Vick’s an Eagle”).

Not too many endorsement yet, for the admitted dog-killer.

I may be dumb, but I always pay my taxes. One of my favorite actors, Wesley Snipes, has been ordered to pay the IRS $17 million in back taxes and fines while appealing a three-year prison sentence.

That’s $17 million.

Now, don’t you feel better about that Florida tax bill and the overdue Visa bill? I know I do.

Send complaints and compliments to Emmet Meara at emmetmeara@msn.com.

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