Michael Jackson Owed $400 Million. Who's to Blame?
To Eric Bolling of FOX Business Network, Michael Jackson will be remembered as a “fantastic, amazing singer, great entertainer,” but also a “financial dummy.” At the time of his death the King of Pop was $400 million in debt, the consequence of a flashy, unsustainable lifestyle. Bolling’s assessment stands out, given the media’s general reporting on personal debt.
Frequently politicians and mainstream media blame the businesses that do the lending and ignore the responsibility of those that voluntarily took on that debt. A 2007 study by the Business & Media Institute and the Culture & Media Institute looked at 156 news stories about debt and “found that ABC, CBS and NBC overwhelmingly blamed business for 'luring' consumers to make bad decisions,” “ignored personal responsibility,” and “portrayed borrowers as helpless victims.”
Bucking the mainstream trend, Bolling and all but one of the analysts on FNC’s “Bulls and Bears” agreed that
Tobin Smith, ChangeWave research editor, absolved
But Bolling was adamant: “M.J.’s to blame … Spent 25 or 30 million dollars per year more than he was taking in.”
Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner, said that malpractice may be the case but the ultimate problem was
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research, concluded that Jackson and his financial advisers shared blame for the debt. “To what extent it was [