Jackson's Financial Wreckage

Michael Jackson may be gone, but his confusing balance sheet will keep creditors busy for years. “It’s all a mess,” one executive involved in sorting out Jackson's finances told the New York Times. “No one really knows what is going on, but these are early days.” Jackson's most notable assets include an estimated $1 billion in publishing rights. At the center of his collection are the rights to the entire Beatles catalog, which he bought in 1985 for $47.5 million, causing a split with his then-friend Paul McCartney. But after wracking up millions in debt, Jackson needed a last-second $24.5 million loan last year just to keep creditors from liquidating his lavish Neverland Ranch in California. “He never kept track of what he was spending," a former adviser, Alvin Malnik, told the Times. "He would indiscriminately charter jets. He would buy paintings for $1.5 million. You couldn’t do that every other week and expect your books to balance.”