Gatsby would owe $23 million today

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Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 12:00 am

A modern Jay Gatsby would be buried under nearly $23 million in debt, according to GoBankingRates.com.

In light of this weekend's release of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby," GoBankingRates.com, a financial website, calculated that for Gatsby to sustain such a lavish lifestyle in today's world, he'd have to dig his way out of $22.8 million in debt.

Here's how GoBankingRates.com broke it down, figuring that Gatsby's net worth is about $1 billion. (That's according to a Forbes "Fictional 15" of 2010, which is a list of the richest fictional characters by net worth.)

For today's version of Gatsby's Rolls Royce Phantom, he'd have to drop about $470,000. Homes in a comparison to Gatsby's fictional West Egg neighborhood cost as high as $2.4 million. A room at the Plaza Hotel's new "Fitzgerald Suite" runs about $2,800 a night. And those all-night gala parties? About $20 million.

That rings up a total of $22,872,800 just for the car, the house and a night at the hotel and couple of parties.

Yikes.

GoBankingRates.com expert Paul Sisolak said although Gatsby probably had the cash to cover it, it's difficult to responsibly keep up such spending. He encouraged consumers to keep spending in check and not take advice from Gatsby.

"If you can afford it, more power to you," he said. "But without giving too much of the plot away, money didn't solve any of Jay Gatsby's problems; it just produced more."

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