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Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) stock news and links

The Facts on Cat Stock Blog

(Note: Cat Stock Blog is retired now but I’m leaving this post intact to show my thought process in starting it).

Cat Stock Blog is devoted to news and links about Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of heavy-duty engines, earthmovers and mining equipment.

Why Cat? Because as a Dow 30 component with $46 billion in sales and 200,000 worldwide employees, it’s one of the most important businesses on the planet.

Why me? I was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, home of Cat’s world headquarters. ┬áMy grandad on one side worked there most of his adult life after selling the farm in Missouri and moving his family of seven north. His last job was painting the tractors that signature shade of yellow known the world over. My mom developed Cat’s corporate wellness plan. My stepdad kept Cat’s corporate jets flying. My best friend from across the street? Yeah, his mom and dad both worked there. A cousin of mine is a rising star today.

The one question on everybody’s mind around Peoria was “How’s Cat’s stock doing?” This blog is the reply.

I’m a newsman by trade, blogger by habit. I live in Silicon Valley just down the road from San Leandro, where Cat was born.

My Cat story is here. My homepage is here.

A few folks know me from the Bay Area hiking blog I’ve been minding since 2005. I count myself among the tree-hugging majority of hikers everywhere, and we are as a class appalled by what people do with Cat equipment. It knocks down forests in the Amazon and topples homes in Palestine.

The way I see it, humans have always been tool-builders, and giant machinery like a Cat bulldozer is just an extreme expression of an instinct peculiar to our species. People will build cities and civilizations and suburbs, but we can decide how these monster machines are used. We can limit the damage they do and use them to clean up afterward.

Maybe 25 years ago I read a book called “The Monkey Wrench Gang” by the celebrated Southwestern author Edward Abbey. The protagonists of the book introduced me to a perspective so foreign that it may as well have come from Neptune: Caterpillar tractors — which fed, clothed and housed my family and helped Peoria prosper — were vile instruments of earthly destruction best disabled if not outright destroyed.

I want ecosystems preserved, but I’d also like to see Cat to stay in business. The company gave many Peorians a chance to see the world — China, Europe, Africa — and opened their eyes to cultures unseen by their neighbors. It made our grubby little city just a bit more worldly than others of its kind.

I’m thankful for that.

3 comments | Permalink |
Tom Mangan posted at 12:28 am December 11th, 2008 |

3 Responses to 'The Facts on Cat Stock Blog'

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  1. Ralph Alcorn says:

    Sort of off topic, but my interests and my roots are conservation oriented – a National Park Service brat, but early in my career as a jack of all trades in data processing, I took a trip to John Deere, promoting some computer system probably best forgotten, in the middle of the winter. The plane was held up in Chicago, due to the water freezing when they tried to refill the plane’s water. Anyway, John Deere were very nice hosts, and I have that old tattered manila folder labeled John Deere, in my file cabinet to this very day, even though I am quite good at tossing obsolete stuff, such as any computer manual I ever used. So, just as you have a connection to Cat, I have this brief but enduring connection to John Deere.

    Permalink | Posted December 17th, 2008, at 5:59 pm
  2. John Soares says:

    Hello Tom. I’ve followed CAT stock for a couple of years but never bought it. One thing to point out, it does pay a relatively decent 3.8% dividend, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

    And on a personal note, I have fun childhood memories of climbing around on Cats at worksites when no one was around.

    Permalink | Posted December 18th, 2008, at 5:45 am
  3. Gambolin' Man says:

    Tom,

    Most interesting, your background and perspective on it.

    I hope you get 40k hits a day!

    Permalink | Posted December 18th, 2008, at 8:50 am

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