However, there is good news - while Caterpillar's revenues and cash flows may be plummeting with every passing month, at least the company has a cunning plan how to recover some inventory.
According to the WSJ, Caterpillar is eager to reassure shareholders it won't get burned on equipment leased to customers in China even as the economy cools there. CAT Financial Services President Kent Adams said during a conference call on Tuesday that the company keeps tabs on the position of machinery electronically through its Product Link system.
"If a customer falls behind, we have the ability to derate the engine or turn the engine off, and we've set up a legal presence in all of the provinces of China."
In other words, any and all Chinese lessors who fall behind on their payments will suddenly find their excavator's engine shut down and no longer operable, stuck in the middle of a mine, quarry, or construction site with a paperweight weighing dozens of tons.
"We call this backhoe 'The Stuxnet'."