Is ‘The Blacklist’ Criminal Raymond Reddington Worth More Than Another TV Kingpin?

Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) is one of the world’s most elusive criminals. The Blacklist‘s “concierge of crime” facilitates an underground network of secrecy and intrigue. Seeing as Reddington freely flies in his private jet whenever he chooses — and stays wherever he wants whenever he wants — how much is he worth? And how does it compare to another huge TV kingpin?

How similar is ‘The Blacklist’s’ Raymond Reddington compared to ‘Breaking Bad’s’ Walter White?

James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington peers out the window while speaking on a phone.
James Spader as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington | Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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The Blacklist‘s Raymond Reddington is a powerful man. Those that know him fear him, and rightfully so. The first couple of seasons showed a ruthless Reddington whose kill count was much higher than subsequent seasons. We can attribute the slow-down to his age and also his mysterious terminal illness.

We’re likely to find a few similarities if we compare Reddington to another antagonist — such as Breaking Bad‘s Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Both are terrifying to those who’ve crossed them, and both contend with terminal illness and mortality.

By the way Breaking Bad was filmed, we know more about Walter’s life leading him into the drug business, whereas Reddington’s former life is still a central mystery. That said, let’s break down how they compare when it comes to money.

Walter White’s earnings are impressive

At the start of Breaking Bad, Walt is celebrating his 50th birthday. The family does not have a lot of money. Walt’s wife Skyler works as a bookkeeper who, in the real world, only makes anywhere from $26,000 to $54,000. After selling Gray Matter, Walt worked as a chemistry teacher. Then, of course, Gray Matter gained success.

Walt’s regrets over leaving Gray Matter are ultimately what led to building his methamphetamine empire. He made around $80 million in cash, according to Screen Rant. It’s the same money he buried in the desert. They deduce Walt kept $10 million after Nazi leader Jack and his crew found the other seven barrels.

During the fifth season, Walt went into hiding, where he had to purchase survival supplies. Still, he returned to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with $9 million to leave his family.

It takes a lot to live like Raymond Reddington

Reddington’s net worth is harder to pinpoint. Multiple Reddit threads and Quora posts have analyzed the data with approximations. As a man on the run for 20 years, he had to be good at investing and diversifying his portfolio to keep him comfortable, not to mention his expensive wardrobe and shoe collection.

One fan mentioned that Reddington has $150 million in one of his accounts.

Another noted that he’s not so much cash-rich but is better able to leverage people to get what he wants.

“It seems like his entire being and network is built off this style of system. It’s not always cash, though. It might be special access to a tailor or medical expert. Maybe it’s hard to find food. With Red, it’s about knowing the right information and using it at the right time. I think this is the crux of the show,” a fan wrote.

Others have guessed that he could be raking in around $10 million to $30 million per year. If the show has been on for eight years, he’d be in the $80 million to $240 million range.

Reddington’s debt might even things out

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All of that said, both Reddington and Walt’s net worth would be a lot different, based on their annual expenses. While Walt didn’t live a life of luxury – even once successful —, Reddington has and still does. Not only does Red employ people like Dembe Zuma (Hisham Tawfiq), but the jet alone is a money pit. His actual cash value at the end of the day would probably fall pretty close to Walt’s.

Both men are dangerous, and both know how to make a buck — they prefer to do it in different ways, and that’s why we love them.