Apple has more money than your government

From Business Insider:

[T]he world’s largest tech company has more cash than the world’s largest sovereign government.

That’s because Apple collects more money than it spends, while the U.S. government does not.

Do you know why Apple has more money than the government? Because they have convinced people like me to buy their products. I’m an atheist to religion, but a fervent believer in Apple product consumption.

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One Response to Apple has more money than your government

  1. Glock21 says:

    This oddball factoid got a lot of play in the media, but I still don’t see how it is very relevant given the endless differences in the two situations. Cash on hand, in and of itself, doesn’t change whether one is running surplus/gains or deficits/losses. It plays a role, certainly, but you can find endless examples (including the two mentioned in the article) that show that cash on hand can be roughly equal even when talking about massive deficits/losses in one or profitability in the other.

    Cash on hand is an indicator of the moment, typically constantly in flux. Spending more than you bring in via borrowing can leave various amounts of cash on hand throughout the year, whereas a surplus can lead to paying down debts and leaving less cash on hand.

    Not to mention the tenuous nature of comparing a for-profit company to a government that have various accounting differences that just don’t apply to one another. If a private company took their workers pension, disability and other insurance payments and blew all the money, called it an investment and tried to get the workers to pay it back through other fees… they’d be sued into oblivion. This is normal for related federal programs. Accounting for private companies versus the federal government when it comes to obligations also get far messier. It’s also part of why politicians love “giving” the people things that don’t actually go into effect or require immediate payments… which would count against the budget deficit. Future obligations will be some other guy’s problem years from now.

    You could imagine the expressions on investors’ faces if some CEO promised to deal with long term budget problems with massive spending proposals that just happen to go into effect after he retires.

    Fun fun fun.

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