In 2004, still in need of money to help pay for the $1.87 million purchase of the damaged Greenwich Village house, Leibovitz took out a bridge loan, a short-term, typically high-interest financial instrument. The loan was intended to tide her over until she could sell her other properties. Later that year, she sold the 26th Street studio for almost $11.4 million; in 2005, she sold the London Terrace penthouse. Those sales must have generated millions in profit, but they still didn’t get her out of the red. Leibovitz, like so many Americans during the boom years, had been taking out additional mortgages, heaping loan upon loan. Before selling her photo studio, she’d borrowed an additional $3.5 million against it, above the original $2.1 million mortgage. The initial mortgage on the Rhinebeck property was about $1.8 million. Eventually, she had some $11 million mortgaged against it. She’d bought the Greenwich Village property with a $1.2 million loan, and three years later tacked on an addition $2.2 million mortgage. By last year, the total value of the mortgages she was carrying came to about $15 million. Assuming she had a 5 percent 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on that amount, her annual outlay just to service the debt on those loans would have come to almost $1 million. (Illustration: Jeff Koons et Keira Knightley, portfolio pour Vogue, 2005).

Par Andrew Goldman, New York Magazine, 16 août 2009.
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