Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

AUDIO – Staying the course at CAT — But it’s a rough row to hoe


Caterpillar Inc Group President Ed Rapp knows that 2009 has been a tough one for his company, but he still thinks they can hit their numbers on revenue and earnings per share.

Speaking at the Reuters Manufacturing and Transportation Summit, Rapp (who, incidentally, has been with Caterpillar for almost 30 years and is still considered something of a “youngster” there!!) said that while there are still many hurdles for the company to avoid in the short term, he thought CAT’s previous guidance was within reach.

Rapp said he remains worried about the state of the credit markets and said government efforts to stabilize banking had yet to cut the cost of borrowing for captive finance companies. But his optimism comes from the sometimes painful steps the company has made in the past few months to cut costs and realign their business thinking.

Rapp is one of a team of six executives under CEO Jim Owens who run CAT’s day-to-day operations.

Exotic trades? No way!

By Jeffrey Hodgson

Increasingly risk-averse hedge fund managers are in no mood to chase exotic trades as they scramble to boost returns.

Given the current environment, Robert Appleby, chief investment officer at ADM Capital, told the Reuters Global Finance Summit there was no need to seek out exotic trades or markets for healthy returns.

Audio – I’ll take Manhattan

Scott Latham, one of the most powerful commerical real estate brokers in New York, says that Chinese investors are making approaches to buy Manhattan properties.

“They are coming,” he told the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit in New York on Monday. “We’ve seen them in the bidding process over the past four months on a number of assets we’ve handled.”