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Chart Of The Day: For Caterpillar The "Great Recovery" Is Just As Bad As The Great Financial Crisis

Tyler Durden's picture


Earlier today, Caterpillar reported its monthly global OEM retail sales.

It didn't got any press coverage for one simple reason: the bellwether industrial company which has managed to repurchase it way to all time highs in recent months hardly wants the investing public to know the unpleasant truth, a truth which is shown in its simplest format in the chart below: starting in December 2012 and continuing through today, Caterpiller has reported 19 consecutive months of declining global year-over-year retail sales. The last, and only, time it had 19 consecutive months of such decline? The period starting in October 2008 just when Lehman filed for bankruptcy.

So if we are to call that first period of 19 consecutive months of CAT sales decline the "Great Financial Crisis", we are confused: is the proper name of this identical 19-month period of declines beginning in December 2012 the Great... "Recovery?"


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Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:19 | 4995102 HedgeAccordingly
Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:30 | 4995160 john39
john39's picture

karma, for supplying the machines that power ethnic cleansing:

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:55 | 4995247 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

But... but... China!  What about all that growth in China?  7.5% a year like you could set your watch by it.

Like so many companies, they're all hat, no cattle.  Keep buying back them shares.  

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 19:57 | 4995755 max2205
max2205's picture

Buy the dip...oh wait

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 03:12 | 4996973 Zeta Reticuli
Zeta Reticuli's picture

If you live in China, you see that there is a lot of construction. High-rises, malls, highways, subway systems, hospitals, universities and schools. It's everywhere.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:34 | 4995169 Cattender
Cattender's picture

it's a Fucking Massive Recovery! (just LOOK at the stock market) Duh!  even "I" can see the Proof.. i was at the dollar tree store today and shit was it BUSY! LOL..

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:21 | 4995110 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

All this signals is that demand is building up and when this pent-up demand is unleashed, sales will skyrocket to never seen before highs.


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:24 | 4995133 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I LOLed.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:27 | 4995145 alphamentalist
alphamentalist's picture

CAT so passee in the world of shovel-ready jobs

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:22 | 4995117 Slave
Slave's picture

I haven't seen anything get built 'round these parts since about '06.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:26 | 4995135 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I take it you don't live near major universities or large hospitals?

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:33 | 4995174 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

There's big bucks in hospitals. So much so that we are considering opening one. Word is there is a plethora of "Middle Eastern" doctors willing to work on the cheap.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:44 | 4995962 Jerk_Store
Jerk_Store's picture

Word is there is a plethora of "Middle Eastern" doctors willing to work on the cheap.

"Plethora"...that's a $5 word LOL

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 03:09 | 4996969 Zeta Reticuli
Zeta Reticuli's picture

A veritable cornucopia. :)


Do we sound smart yet? You can't stop me. I have a Thesaurus.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:30 | 4995156 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

You need to move to KaLiFoRnIa.   They are still building strip-malls here in Sacramento metro area.   Of course, they are as empty as the others, but still...  Recession ended long time ago here.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:36 | 4995186 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I like it when they build a new one across the street from an empty one. Civic pride, as I say.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:39 | 4995192 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

I still can't figure out how they get funding for some of these, but maybe it's just "in the pipeline" or something like that. 

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:57 | 4995254 john39
john39's picture

Ghost cities, expanding from China.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:05 | 4995281 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Exactly. Developers are throwing up these malls luring in anchor stores with free rent for several years and then flipping them to Chinese investors. We know its dumb money behind much of this, its just a matter of whos.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 22:37 | 4996418 Zeta Reticuli
Zeta Reticuli's picture

I live and travel in China, and I have seen very few CAT machines. Very few. A lot of Komatsu and Fujitsu and Doosan (Daewoo), but less than a dozen CAT machines in total. Very strange. They are supposed to be big here. On my first visit here I met an American woman in a Starbucks whose husband works for CAT. They sent her and their daughters over for 3 years. There ae many thousands of tracked excavators and bulldozers working eveywhere. Where are all the CAT machines?

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:41 | 4995205 goldhedge
goldhedge's picture

Not even FEMA camps?


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 19:16 | 4995604 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

They are building a FEMA camp in pine bluff Arkansas. Talking about an arm pit

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:59 | 4995516 TeethVillage88s
TeethVillage88s's picture

I know some old timers that have been waiting for Social Security and Medicare since they LOST There WHOLE Pensions to Caterpillar Closing Down Plants.

Must have been in the 1980s or 1990s.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:24 | 4995128 Lewshine
Lewshine's picture

Pay no attention to that chart, or anything else that might keep you from BELIEVEING IN YOUR MASTER'S ABILITY TO FIX ALL THINGS!!!

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:28 | 4995132 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Wait until the drought ends and all the dry goods in the Baltics gets finally gets shipped, then we'll see Caterpillar turn in a butterfly!   (It will be springtime in Merica, again).

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:08 | 4995289 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Someone should be buying up these ships, building them into condos and selling them as off shore tax havens. Why take a cruise when you can live on one?

The Chinese just got to bite on that one!

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:31 | 4995140 q99x2
q99x2's picture

They c ould build tanks if there were any non-nuclear nations left for the US to crush.

Speaking of crushed, looks like Christie sat on his New Jersey:

Moody's downgrades Atlantic City general obligation bonds to junk status
Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:27 | 4995146 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

I don't see caterpillar having a metamorphasis anytime soon.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:32 | 4995159 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Does "squished" count?

Hey, at least they're holding steady at a 10-15% YoY loss these days. Better still, the closer to zero they get, the easier it is to manage that chart!

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:34 | 4995170 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Monsanto is coming out with a GMO tomato worm. It doesnt' metamorphisize until its in your stomach.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:37 | 4995188 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

HA!  Good one.   (I think I saw that movie!)

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:54 | 4995246 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Attack of the killer tomato worm?

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:28 | 4995147 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Have more trust in the gov't.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:31 | 4995163 Rainman
Rainman's picture

The good CAT news is a lot of bombed out buildings gonna need to be hauled off in big trucks and backhoes....

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:34 | 4995171 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

More like mules and carts.

CAT better start ramping up production of the military versions if they want to remain competitive.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:10 | 4995300 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Reconstruction, reconstruction, Yeah! Print more, build more, burn more down.

Krugman and company bringing progressive keynesianism to the world!

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:31 | 4995166 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I say screw it, go for 20 months of sales declines and set another new alltime record.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:12 | 4995307 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Won't all you guys feel like real jerks when they show gains in the 20th months?


two favorite bullish ideas

1) it could always be worse, time to buy.

2) if its a plus its a plus, time to buy.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:34 | 4995398 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Hey, they for their man in the White House and he slammed Dem with clean diesel technology for OTR trucks. CAT ceded the entire Class VIII trucking market to CMI (cummins diesel.)

OSK has been a great play...they make an in house diesel electric hybrid...don't know who's Diesel engine they use to run their pro-pulse hybrid drive system...but if the Army chooses OSK for their JLTV that would move hybrid propulsion....and self driving vehicles...dramatically forward.

I have no idea where Catepillar fits into any of this. Maybe "meteor
mining"? "Bulldozers to the Mars!"

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:34 | 4995175 Freedumb
Freedumb's picture

Sales have been down due to an abnormally cold 19 month long winter, but are expected to inverse hockey stick up once weather conditions improve

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:14 | 4995313 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

That's right! If a cold spell was this devastating to our economy, global warming just has to be bullish!

Where are the green shits...shoots, I mean?

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:34 | 4995176 jim249
jim249's picture

I don't know why they were so quiet about it. That info could have sent the dow up 100 points at they very least today. Bullish!!!!

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:37 | 4995190 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

I would have thought Caterpillar would have come out with equipment that could push big piles of FRNs around the world.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:40 | 4995201 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

Their days in the DJIA are numbered.....

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:47 | 4995228 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

They are kinda old school worthless.    Who needs stuff you can't carry?   I'm thinking Facebook?.  Who's got the F symbol?   (Oh, the Fed).

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:42 | 4995215 astoriajoe
astoriajoe's picture

Any mention of clicks in their press release? pageviews?

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:50 | 4995232 Sick
Sick's picture

It certianly doesn't help USA companies with all the enemies we have created throught the world.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:49 | 4995233 walküre
walküre's picture

CAT will be one of the winning companies when they need to retool for the war effort in a hot WW3

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:05 | 4995274 Otto Zitte
Otto Zitte's picture

Think about it. The break away republics succeeded beyond their wildest expectations and in their arrogance stupidly shared their vastly superior technology with the vicious old world cunts they had escaped. These vengeful old world cunts then made lots of nukular missiles and painted the renegade republics for every dispicable act they themselves had done.

Maybe CAT will retool after WW3. Don't think so.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 17:53 | 4995241 Super Hans
Super Hans's picture

Just wait until more farms in Cali stop producing...  Their gear can be easily replicated in 3rd world hell holes like india.  An interesting fact regarding India is that more than 60% of the populous still shits in their fields and in the streets irregardless of the traffic flowing by...

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:16 | 4995319 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

and I thought they didn't give a shit....

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 22:48 | 4995253 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

CAT stock is up 19.35% YTD.  LOL.  Third best DOW performer to INTC (33%) and MSFT (20%).  

You can't make this shit up.  Oh wait.  #YesWeCan!!


Q:  This combination has been considered the "black swan" of the 2014 stock market crash.

A:  What is CAT and the BDI?

Ohhhh.  Sorry.  The answer we we're looking for is Facebook and CYNK. 


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:00 | 4995268 Its Only Rock N Roll
Its Only Rock N Roll's picture

We are starting to see green shoots


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:04 | 4995279 JamesH
JamesH's picture

CAT sales will rise when we start carrying cash in backhoes

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:08 | 4995295 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

CAT will be selling lots of backhoes to dig the graves for the ones that didn't make it when the riots start up in the US.


That's good for business, right Krugman?

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:22 | 4995354 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

New rules regarding carbon emissions requires no direct burial as it creates a potential for harmful carbon release through decomposition. Starting as soon as regulations can be put into place, all cadavers will be required to be encased in non-biodegradable plastic of at least one thousand years shelf life. Or they can be stuffed and placed on permanent display if they are environment hating conservative to be used for public derision, or a progressive leader elevated to a position of deity.

Its for the children.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 18:37 | 4995405 schatzi
schatzi's picture

Again, false headline.


If ZH wants to be taken seriously other than by a select group of toinfoil-hatters, it should at least attempt to present information in a balanced way. The information it offers is good and comes to the right conclusions in regards to the absurd share price and the lack of any recovery based on investment during the last two years, but to even consider the current reduction in turnover to be as bad as during the financial crisis, simply because it equals the same timeframe, is either fucking stupid or highly dishonest. A quick glance at the graph should reveal to even the dimmest, that the dramatic collapse in turnover during the GFC doesn't even compare to the current turnover shrinkage. Then you need to take into consideration, that many companies overshot on their orders to compensate for the years before and now slowly need to digest their capital investments. Typical cycle behaviour.

But yeah, I still like CAT as a construction and mining bellwether, and the signs aren't good.


Seriously Tyler... what the fuck? You think we swallow any shit simply because it fits the agenda?

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 19:25 | 4995633 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I kind of agree with your point, except...did we see this kind of graph before or after the GFC? I mean the markets are way the fuck up, right? Years after the collapse. And we are seeing continuing declines in major construction indicators for the whole world, and the markets are UP! Where were the markets when CAT sales first started to slide? I'm no analyst but this looks bad to me. We have been washed two miles out to sea, and are swallowing water while making no headway towards shore. They may still show a profit, but given how most of these companies are cooking the books to keep share prices up, I don't see anything good about it.

But yes, the sky has been falling for a good while now.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 19:25 | 4995636 MASTER OF UNIVERSE

I actually emailed Oberhelman two years ago and told him to replace his board with more economically adept board members before he went the way of the Gorilla. I'll bet they hid the poor performance so I would not send another nasty letter to Oberhelman advising him to step down.

What a dork he has turned out to be.


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 19:40 | 4995692 JR
JR's picture

Caterpillar’s problem isn’t because its executives are paid too little or its rank and file people are paid too much. Frankly it’s the opposite. And that is why there is no recovery for the American people. I talked with someone in Decatur, Ill, today who said CAT was paying new hires $10 an hour without benefits (not verified). CAT and Firestone, along with Staley's and  ADM, used to be the General Motors of Decatur.

Bloomberg wrote May 26, 2013:

”In January 2012, Caterpillar locked out union workers at a locomotive factory in Ontario, Canada, after they rejected a pay cut of about 50 percent; the company shuttered the plant and moved production to Muncie, Ind., where workers accepted lower wages. Last May, Caterpillar took a hard line during negotiations with employees at its Joliet, Ill., hydraulic parts factory, insisting on cuts to health care and other benefits. After striking for three months, employees caved at the end of the summer. Senior workers’ wages were frozen for six years. Caterpillar is currently battling union workers at its Milwaukee plant.

”As Caterpillar has squeezed hourly workers for concessions, CEO’s Oberhelman’s own pay rose 60 percent in 2011, to more than $16 million. Although the company’s profits have declined in recent quarters, largely because of a decline in commodities prices, which has hurt all mining equipment makers, Caterpillar said on April 22 that Oberhelman’s compensation had jumped again, to $22 million.

“The average pay for an executive officer at Caterpillar has risen 56 percent over the past six years, to more than $10 million, according to an analysis by Bloomberg of Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

“Caterpillar has become a symbol of the growing divergence in corporate America between profit and wages. As a percentage of gross domestic product, (before the recent downturn) corporate earnings recently reached their highest level in more than 60 years, and wages fell to new lows, according to Moody’s

John Arnold, 35, a parts auditor at Caterpillar’s Morton, Ill., distribution facility, said some of his co-workers are on food stamps.

“I don’t understand how a company can make billions and billions of dollars in profits and have people on welfare,” said Arnold, who has worked for Caterpillar since 1999 and makes $15.66 an hour.

Daily Kos wrote a year ago:

Mr. Oberhelman's compensation increased more than 80% the last 2 years.  According to a CEO compensation website, he earned almost $18 million in equity, wages and other sources in 2013. Not bad.  Douglas indicated

"I always try to communicate to our people that we can never make enough money"

.  "We can never make enough profit"


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:10 | 4995805 MASTER OF UNIVERSE

Great stuff you posted, JR. I cannot believe that CAT has workers on food stamps and that in and of itself is mindblowing to me. Heavy Equipment Mechanics deserve better IMHO. Oberhelman is too much and will generate a bad business reputation so don't worry about him in the long run of having really fucking bad karma. Oberhelman has no idea of the responsibility he has to the workforce of the USA let along other countries.

We can only look forward to the day of his departure. I don't think he will make the White House Christmas card list this year.

I live in Ontario CANADA and we are all well aware of CAT's profit margin over the last number of years. I agree there is excessive disparity and I'm mad as hell just like you are. We shall fight them on the beaches, roads,

board rooms, governments, etc. Churchill had the right idea and all we have to do is follow up on that idea.


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 19:37 | 4995675 SilvertonguedAngel
SilvertonguedAngel's picture

Ceo's and other corporate honchos take out loans to do buy backs of company shares to drive up the stock price so they can sell their PERSONAL shares 'high', which they have all been doing under the radar as they all know that the stock market is on it's last leg, because the economy has been a Zombie since '08.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 19:56 | 4995754 yogibear
yogibear's picture

They push the stock market ever higher until all the retail investors are all in. Until then they keep blowing this bubble ever bigger.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 21:40 | 4996199 db51
db51's picture

If you're smart, you'll be off loading John Deere stock like a case of the clap.    Corn headed for $ 2.00.   Farmer's could probably go 5 years or more and not have to replace a single piece of equipment.   All of this orchestrated market manipulation by USDA to keep food prices down is about to bite Ag Equipment Dealers in the ASS!   Farmers won't be paying any income tax either.   Trust me on this one.  

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 22:04 | 4996299 RMolineaux
RMolineaux's picture

Caterpillar sells the equipment that Israel uses to demolish Palestinian houses.  I suspect this has something to do with its declining market share.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 23:01 | 4996510 yellowsub
yellowsub's picture

Guess Detroit doens't need to bulldoze anymore houses.

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 01:29 | 4996856 Ward no. 6
Ward no. 6's picture

my sister works for caterpillar and last year they let go of a lot of ppl

this year they are more busy but only hire ppl from temp agencies...

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 02:04 | 4996887 GreedKillz
GreedKillz's picture

Don't worry America "Don't be cynical Wise people are not cynical You have to just keep having HOPE"


Seems like I rememeber something about "Hope and Change" a while back but not too far back .

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