It was only a matter of time before disappointing art sales forced Christie’s to cut jobs and reorganize again.
NY Times: “We have begun to implement a companywide reorganization, which includes significant staff reductions, not renewing many consultants’ contracts and the continuation of other cost-reduction initiatives, that will ensure we remain competitive and profitable in 2009,” Christie’s said in a statement on Monday, without saying how many positions might be cut or giving any further details.
Over the last months, auction prices dropped together with financial markets, ending a decade-long boom in the art market that was buoyed by record bonuses paid to financial executives.
There are a lot of cash-strapped former execs who are selling their valuables now. But buyers, no doubt accustomed to those 80% Saks discounts, are waiting for a good deal.
Lehman plans to sell about $8 million in artworks to help pay its creditors, but if a recent auction by the bank’s former chief executive and his wife is anything to go by, it might be a challenge to attract buyers as many still wait for bigger bargains. Richard S. Fuld Jr. and his wife, Kathy, sold 16 drawings for $13.5 million through Christie’s in November in New York, below the $15 million low estimate.
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