Common Sense

Whitney's lost life and fortune

Maybe because I'm the business geek here, it's the one thing I can't shake about Whitney Houston's death.…

Not how she died…but how much money she had left when she died.

Not much.

I don't mean to sound callous. But do count me amazed…

How a woman who had amassed a 100 million dollar fortune lost it all.

Her friends say "not all." But they do acknowledge "most."

But how does that happen?

How does a woman who at her high point, raked in up to 30 million dollars a year touring...

Leave this world with virtually nothing?

So much we don't know. Here's what we do.

Whitney Houston had a stormy marriage, and years-long addictions to cocaine and a variety of other substances.

Less discussed...

Is that Whitney Houston also had a big heart.

I heard one account of her being a sucker for sob stories. Give her a good line; she'd all but give you the shirt off her back.

Countless times. To countless friends. And….not-so-friends.

The same kind of friends that used to hit up boxer Mike Tyson when he was worth hundreds of millions, and they all wanted to be with him.

Until he had nothing, and they all abandoned him.

Fame is fleeting. The money that comes with it even more fleeting.

They say it's not what you make; it's what you keep…

And by all accounts, Whitney Houston didn't keep very much in the end.

This remarkable woman with the remarkable voice who sold a remarkable 170 million albums...

Left in her final years leaning heavily on friends for handouts...

And a certain mogul named Clive Davis, for support.

Clive kept her out of foreclosure.

But he couldn't keep her out of trouble.

Or out of her own way.

She married recklessly and spent recklessly and lived life recklessly.

These are how fortunes are lost.

Incomprehensible fortunes.

Fortunes so vast we cannot fathom anyone losing them. Until we stop and think about it.

Money in. Money out.

No matter how much money's coming in, if more is going out, deadly.

Just ask Washington.

Or Iron Mike.

Whitney's just the latest.

I suspect, sadly, she won't be the last.