It is reported that Michael Jackson made a secret deal to mortgage his entire back catalogue of his own songs, including Billie Jean and Beat It, for $60M.
Seemingly Jackson is "on the precipice of bankruptcy", and borrowed the money two years ago in order to pay off his debts and continue living in "fantasy land".
However, as all good accountants will tell you, by using up all his past assets to fund future spending Jackson is now on the financial "edge"; he does not have a future income on which to live.
I would have thought that would worry his legal team; I doubt that they are prepared to work "pro bono" for very long.
Jackson has faced financial woes before. In 1999 he borrowed $130M, using his catalogue of Beatles hits that he bought in 1985. Jackson then went on to borrow $90M in 2001 and a further $60M in 2003.
The prosecution allege that Jackson has debts of about $320M. Not least, he reportedly owes the IRS $150M.
These revelations come in a forthcoming book "We Made It Up As We Went Along", by Paul Russell a music industry boos who has worked with Jackson.
Russell is quoted as saying:
"While Michael may still have considerable assets, he has a serious cashflow problem...He first borrowed against the value of the Beatles catalogue in 1999 and since then he has just kept on borrowing..His problem is he still is living the lifestyle of a superstar whose records sell 40m copies, like in the Thriller days. The pie got smaller, but he was still spending..."
Russell then adds:
"Jackson was never a good businessman. I remember in the early days, just after he bought the Beatles catalogue, he was so enthusiastic and earnest about owning what he saw as part of music history. He wanted to be a guardian of the Beatles' memory, not make a fortune out of them..."