The Getty Trust, a museum giant but also the owner of the 452 acre Loma Rica Ranch in Grass Valley, is slashing its operating budget by nearly 25 percent for the coming fiscal year because of severe losses.
The cuts are “an emergency response to investment losses that have totaled $1.5 billion since July and nearly $2 billion since mid-2007,” according to a front-page article in this morning’s L.A. Times. (I’d been hearing the same thing for a while.)
The art institution could “fall off a huge cliff” if it delayed drastic cuts and hard times continued, according to its president.
A blog www.silencedogetty.blogspot.com is chronicling the human factor, including some disgruntled workers.
The trust had bet heavily on “alternative investments,” including hedge funds, private partnerships, raw materials and distressed companies.
The Loma Rica housing project — which has taken longer than planned to win an OK — is still going ahead. The organic farm is open, too, though some staff cutbacks or increased monitoring of the project would not be a surprise.
I like the “smart” housing project — a lot of it is walkable. As I’ve blogged before, it would be a shame if rancor about whether to reopen the Idaho-Maryland mine would trip up other projects, including Loma Rica.
Smart growth is better than no growth or ill-planned growth. We’ve suffered from both in the past.