Apple Has 10 Percent of America's Corporate Cash

A blog about business and economics.
Jan. 22 2014 7:32 AM

Apple Has 10 Percent of America's Corporate Cash

463195173-tim-cook-chief-executive-officer-of-apple-inc-visits-a
Yep, I've got the money right here in my socks.

Photo by ChinaFotoPress

A fair amount has been written, some of it by me, about the extraordinarily large volumes of cash that U.S. corporations have amassed due to a combination of weak investment and tax avoidance strategies. But as Richard Waters points out, this is hardly an across-the-board phenomenon. Instead, a handful of firms account for a huge share of the money:

By the middle of last year, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few tech winners had left just six companies – Apple, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Oracle and Qualcomm – with more than a quarter of the $1.5tn held by US non-financial corporations, according to rating agency Moody’s.
With nearly $150bn in its coffers, Apple alone was sitting on close to 10 per cent of corporate America’s cash.
Advertisement

This is so much money that individual firms' decisions arguably become macroeconomically relevant. That Apple cash is about 1 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Of course with many earnings coming from abroad these days you expect to see some detachment between firm decision-making and the state of the American domestic economy. But as a practical matter were this money to be spent a large share of it would likely be spent in North America.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

How Can We Investigate Potential Dangers of Fracking Without Being Alarmist?

My Year as an Abortion Doula       

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 9:22 AM The Most Populist Campaign of 2014
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 16 2014 8:00 AM The Wall Street Bombing: Low-Tech Terrorism in Prohibition-era New York
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 9:13 AM Clive James, Terminally Ill, Has Written an Exquisitely Resigned Farewell Poem
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 7:36 AM The Inspiration Drought Why our science fiction needs new dreams.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 16 2014 7:30 AM A Galaxy of Tatooines
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.