A Billionaire's Garage Sale

Time for another peek [Lifestyle theme] into the "Lifestyles of the Rich...and Cranky."

Even the rich sometimes get caught in a financial downward spiral, and when the going gets tough for them, they do what regular folks often have to do in order to get the cash they need to make ends meet: They hold a garage sale. Craig McCaw is one such fellow. Having invested in high-tech stocks during the 1990s, Craig became one of the world's richest men. But then came the stock market plunge of the past year, and...well, to make this sad story short, McCaw is down to his last billion bucks. So he's selling some of his stuff.

A billionaire's garage sale is much like any other, only the stuff tends to be better. If you were in a pinch, you might sell your socket wrenches, Tupperware, and Englebert Humperdink record collection. McCaw, on the other hand is selling mansions, airplanes, yachts, and his rare wine collection. He's already sold two of his four Seattle homes--one for $20 million, the other for $7 million. His condo is tagged for sale, as is his 5,000 acre ranch in trendy Carmel, California, priced to move at $40 million. He's sold his Gulfstream G-5 luxury jet for $38 million and is offering his personal 737 jetliner for $54 million.

McCaw's also trying to unload his 780-acre island off the coast of Vancouver for forty-nine-nine--$49.9 million, that is. And without the island, he felt he could also do without "Tatoosh." That's the name of his yacht, which is almost as big as an aircraft carrier--indeed, this 300-foot floating palace carries two helicopters, a forty-foot speedboat, a sailboat, and a swimming pool. He unloaded it for $100 million.

This is Jim Hightower saying...Even after his sell-off Craig's no pauper--he's left with a mansion in Seattle, a $20 million California estate, a $7 million Idaho retreat, several other planes...and, who knows, maybe he's even got an Englebert Humperdink collection.

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