While we might not know what it takes to be a strategic defaulter, we do know what it takes to be a celebrity defaulter. And, truth be told, that’s why I remembered the earlier Journal story:
Just this week, a Tudor mansion in Bel-Air belonging to film star Nicolas Cage was in foreclosure auction and reverted to the lender. On Wednesday, Richard Fuscone, a former top Wall Street executive, declared personal bankruptcy, forestalling a foreclosure auction that had been scheduled this week on his 14-acre Westchester mansion. Last month a Manhattan condominium owned by Italian film producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori was sold in a foreclosure auction for $33.2 million.
To be fair, the Times also included a celebrity in its story—the rapper Chamillionaire, who recently walked away from a $2 million house in Houston.
“I just decided to let it go, give it back to the bank,” he told the celebrity gossip TV show “TMZ.” “I just didn’t feel like it was a good investment.”
I’m not going to argue with his investment smarts. He’s Chamillionaire, after all.
But when it comes to strategic defaults, the Times (and everybody else) should do some more reporting, or at least stop guessing.