How to blow $200 million in 5 years

After selling CNET Networks, Halsey Minor saw his fortune slip away in one disastrous investment after another.

By Jonathan Berr May 31, 2013 5:06PM
File photo of Halsey Minor on May 1, 2000 (© Darryl Estrine/Corbis)Halsey Minor, who helped sell CNET Networks to CBS (CBS) five years ago for $1.8 billion, is broke and has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection because of what Bloomberg News describes as a "fascination with houses, hotels, horses and art."

Minor reportedly walked away from the sale with $200 million. But now, he owes $100 million and has, at most, $50 million to pay his creditors, according to the news service.

He needed protection from creditors after efforts to raise money that included unloading his art collection. He sold two paintings in 2010 for $21.1 million that went toward paying a $21.6 million judgment obtained on a delinquent loan. Sotheby's won a judgment against Minor in 2010 after he refused to pay for works of art that he won at auction.

When it came to real estate, Minor's results were also disastrous. He spent $15.3 million in 2008 on a 400-acre plantation in Virginia that included a 12-bedroom Georgian mansion. That property, known as Carter's Grove, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011, Bloomberg says.
 
Financial setbacks are not new for Minor. Bloomberg notes that he had maxed out his credit cards in the early 1990s trying to get CNET off the ground. At the time, Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen came to his rescue by investing $2.5 million in the fledgling enterprise. (Microsoft owns and publishes moneyNOW, an MSN Money site.)

For ordinary investors, Minor is cautionary tale that shows that even wealthy people can be undone by profligate spending.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks.  Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.


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157Comments
May 31, 2013 10:48PM
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People that rich shouldn't be allowed bankruptcy protection. He just blew away many lifetimes of income on luxuries. screw him
May 31, 2013 9:58PM
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Between this moron and $2000 shoes on J-Lo I am more and more convinced that evolution has stopped and maybe has even begun in reverse. Can anyone in this country earn a large sum of money and not act like a monkey let out of a cage?

May 31, 2013 9:37PM
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Oh and why is this supposed to concern the average Joe who slaves every week just to make ends meet, save for our kids college and sock away for retirement at hopefully age 65? Yawn....
May 31, 2013 9:53PM
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Let CONgress get their hands on it and they will blow 200 million in a single night. That non-productive bunch is the biggest waste to time and effort I have ever heard of.
May 31, 2013 9:19PM
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How do you have 200 million dollars.........have 50 million left and file bankruptcy while wind up owing 100 million? That means you lived like you had 250 million.

 

Seems to me. I would have immediately took half that money (100 Million) and put it away as if it never existed and let the interest pile up. Can you say 4 to 10 million a YEAR in interests taking NO RISK ABSOLUTELY WHATSOEVER! He could have had 50 million in interest EASY by now.

May 31, 2013 10:08PM
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LOL a fool and his money are soon parted.......
May 31, 2013 10:33PM
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Warren Buffet is shaking his head.  Live below your means, even if you have $200 million.
May 31, 2013 9:49PM
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I can do better than that... Blow $200 million in less than 6 months... "Give it to the U.S. Government.....
May 31, 2013 10:47PM
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Oh Boo Hoo Hoo!  Poor widdle millionaire is "broke".  Pffffffffft.  Cry me a river.
May 31, 2013 9:49PM
May 31, 2013 9:20PM
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Live large my friend and soak in the good life!  If you were the US Govt, you'd just print more money!!
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I still remember when I lost my first $200 Million.  I knew I should have sold my Cabbage Patch collection when I had the chance!
May 31, 2013 9:56PM
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Sounds like he should run for president. He'd be perfect.
May 31, 2013 10:14PM
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He must be the one that taught my sister money management. :)

May 31, 2013 9:43PM
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Let me think....... How I could blow $200 million in 5 years?........  Hmmmm   I don't know for I haven't the money.  So why don't you give me the money and I will "TRY" to blow it................
May 31, 2013 10:09PM
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He should of went off the grid, found some nice place in Alaska, or maybe even in Australia, or Thailand, Philippines, he could have lived dirt cheap and still saved his 200 million!
May 31, 2013 9:51PM
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How much money do you need? Why torture yourself over 5 years- 200 million on red, spin it!
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