xjwms, Sorry, I didn't see your question to me until today.
The friends just aren't contributing like they used to. the COs and DOs have been saying for many years now that there just isn't enough money coming in for the amount of literature that is requested. I believe the contributions cover the actual cost of printing, etc. but it's not as much as the society would like.
Notice how most "simplification" arrangments that have been announced over the past 10 years are money savers. For example, assembly food, convention food, paperback books, paperback bibles, monthly Awake, grouping individual congregations literature orders together if they share a KH and shipping the literature to a central location (like an assy. hall) and not to a local home, asking the literature servants to make sure they don't overstock items, having the congregations review WT/AW orders for each family/publisher and reviewing that against reported placements and then talking to the friends about lowering their orders if necessary, etc.
I don't feel that they currently lack money. I do feel that they don't have as much as they feel they need or that they used to have. I'm talking liquid cash. Property and investments are great and help the longterm viability of the Society, but it's hard to quickly turnaround and sell a residence building or factory building to get needed cash in a pinch. I also feel that they are stockpiling money for potential lawsuits. What money they have may be held in reserve.
On additional thought. As growth in the industrial world decreases their potential contributions from the weathiest countries decreases with it. As growth in the third world increases demand for literature, KHs, COs, DOs, branches, etc. increases. They are concerned about money now and have been for some time and this worry only increases as they look to the future and review their growth pattern.