Does reality match the balance sheet?

The world’s perception of fashion designer L’Wren Scott was that she was a 1-percenter.  A gold-plated member of the international elite.  Mike Jagger as a boyfriend, lounging about poolside, gold jewelry, Louis Vuitton handbag and designer sunglasses.  From the rest of the world’s view a life of luxury and wealth.

Tragically in mid-March she committed suicide, hanging herself in a $5.6 million Chelsea apartment.  Within hours of the tragedy her life was revealed to be an elaborate façade – her business at least $6 million in debt.  While the chasam between Scott’s marketed life and her actual life came as a shock, she is just one of the countless who secretly fake their fabulous lives in our age of superficial materialism.  What on the surface appears to be conspicuous consumption is in fact so often revealed to be impecunious consumption at best.

It is when stories such as this come to light that we should be reminded that envy is one of the seven deadly sins and that perceptions may lie but a balance sheet will always remain true.

Scratching a little below the surface, and not taking what you simply “see” of your customer at face value is one of the best risk-mitigation tools at your disposal when it comes to extending terms.


One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.  Proverbs 13:7 NIV