“I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome…” he wrote.
He followed up with a Tweet asking Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion in “his ideas.”
West is married to Kim Kardashian, who flaunts her money–and his–like there’s no tomorrow. To say she’s high maintenance would be an understatement.
The operative phrase, however, is “personal debt.” That suggests he, alone, is on the hook, not Kardashian.
I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome… This is my true heart…
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
Mark Zuckerberg invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
Of course, debt is relative. He may owe $53 million, but some might argue he can afford it. His net worth has been variously estimated to be between $85 million and $140 million, depending on who’s doing the guesstimating.
But net worth is meaningless in this context. More important in the bankruptcy equation is Kanye’s cash flow and whether he can carry the debt service, plus still meet other obligations.
More often than not, a cash-crunch, not net worth is the ultimate trigger for a bankruptcy. Even if Kanye’s net worth trends to the high-end, his money may be tied up in illiquid assets like real estate, jewelry, luxury cars and other “bling.”
If he were forced to sell under duress, he likely would get pennies on the dollar for even the most expensive items. Some of his personal possessions might be exempt from a bankruptcy, but most of his valuables would be up for grabs.
TheImproper first reported signs of a possible cash crunch in June 2014, when West and Kardashian threw in the towel on their lavish Bel Air home. The house reportedly had been bleeding money like ruptured jugular.
They paid a reported $11 million for the Bel Air mansion in June 2013 and began extensively renovating the property. Among some of the changes, Kayne wanted to add a new gym, cinema, bowling alley and basketball court.
Other tabloid reports claim the property became a source of tension between the two after Kayne demanded repeated changes in the design, prolonging the renovation and sending costs skyrocketing.
The couple put the house up for sale a year after they bought it. The cover story: Kim decided she wanted to live closer to her mother in Calabasas about an hour away.
Since then, the tabloids have been filed with reports about their conspicuous consumption, mostly involving Kanye buying expensive gifts for Kim.
Among the reports Kanye bought Kim 150 Christmas presents. He even sent his assistant to Italy so he could shop via Skype. Kim opened up the presents via a livestream, so her fans could revel in her haul, including high-end designer clothes.
Kanye also reportedly spent $72,000 on expensive Christmas presents for North, including a $62,000 diamond-encrusted tiara and a $10,000 mini SUV.
For mother’s day, Kanye’s reportedly sent Kim thousands of roses. He also paid for a birthday trip to Hawaii, Hermes purses and a $73,000 Cartier Bracelet for Valentine’s Day.
When he proposed back in 2013, he rented entire AT&T Park stadium and hired a 50-piece orchestra to perform. He gave Kim a 15-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond engagement ring valued at $8 million. The total price tag for the event was estimated to be north of $3.3 million.
Their wedding was reportedly even more costly. Some estimates put it at a whopping $12 million, inlcuding hotels, private jets and a seven-foot-tall vanilla and berry cake. Kim’s dress reportedly cost $500,000, according to London’s Daily Mail.
Other estimates, however, put the cost of the wedding at around $2.8 million.
If Kanye is facing a money crunch, it apparently hasn’t curbed Kim’s appetite for expensive presents. She seems to have no problem tearing through his money.
Tabloids reported that she was pressuring Kanye to buy her a $1 million necklace as a “push present” to celebrate the impending birth of second child Saint West.
West has diversified his sources of income outside of music. He’s invested in a chain of Fatburger restaurants in the Chicago area, a line of athletic shoes for Nike and Adidas, and another shoe line with Louis Vuitton, according to some reports.
He recently introduced his own line of sneakers that retail for around $900 a pair.
Kanye also spent a fortune on his clothing line. He previewed his latest designs in lavish Madison Square Garden fashion show. He hosted dozens of celebrities for the event. He Tweeted his financial condition shortly afterward.
Whether he’s making money on the eccentric clothing is problematic.
Of course, only West–and his bankers–know the extent of his financial difficulties. If push comes to shove, he can only hope the money changers think he’s too big to fail.
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