The Great Gatsby Unit Resources Was the Great Gatsby Broke? Auditing the West Egg bootlegging mogul's personal finances. How the Great Gatsby could afford those great parties Could Jay Gatsby afford his lavish parties on a bootlegger's income? Kevin Roose runs the numbers - or a reasonable approximation of the numbers - and thinks not. "Jay Gatsby was probably either living paycheck-to-paycheck or digging himself into debt," he concludes.