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Wednesday, Jan 17th

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Cat Man Confident on Economy

Cat Man Confident on Economy: No Double-Dip Disaster Ahead

Fears are increasing that the US economy is heading for a double-dip recession, but Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman is upbeat. That’s good, because the construction and mining equipment group’s financial condition is considered an indicator for investor confidence on the industrial part of the economy. If anything, the chief Cat man says he is more upbeat now than he was at the start of the year.

“There won’t be a double-dip,” he recently told the Financial Times in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Peoria, Illinois. “I don’t see a return to high growth, but I think we’re going to bump along.”

Caterpillar’s optimism – it is predicting that the US economy will grow by 2.5 per cent this year – is important, both because of the size of the company and because it has a successful track record of economic forecasting. In fact, it was one of the first big US concerns in 2007 to warn that the US was walking into a major economic slump.


Dig This - Visit Vegas & Operate Excavators and Bulldozers

Vegas High Rollers and Heavy Equipment?

The housing foreclosure crisis in Las Vegas has meant a massive slowdown in heavy construction equipment use as the demand for new casinos and other big projects has plummeted.

But one inventive entrepreneur has come up with a way to keep big rigs in use while pulling in big bucks from thrill-seeking Vegas visitors – simply by letting the high rollers have a taste of rolling out high-end machinery.

He’s created  a life-sized sandbox for adults who fork over up to $750 each to shove dirt, rock and huge tires around with earth-moving construction equipment.

After a 10-minute classroom lesson and oversight from trainers in headsets, instant operators get to play with equipment from their childhood dreams.

"I thought it would be much clunkier, and the lighter you are with the controls, the easier it worked," revealed Mary Fitzsimons, a California emergency room doc, after spending a couple of hours digging a trench, moving tires and using a giant bucket to scoop basketballs on cones.

"I thought I wouldn't pick it up, I thought I would totally futz it up," she said.


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