By: Jenny Tran
Watch out, President Obama! According to the June statement from the U.S. Treasury, compared to the U.S. government’s operating cash balance of $73.8 billion, Apple has a whopping $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities. In other words, the world’s largest tech company now has more money than the world’s largest sovereign government. This symbolic feat – the world’s most highly valued tech company, surpassing the fiscal strength of the world’s most powerful nation – is just the latest pinnacle for Apple, which has been on an unprecedented roll.
This feat comes to no surprise seeing as Apple has been rolling out new electronics every few months. The federal government could probably learn a thing or two from Apple’s success. For the past few months, Congress has continued to remain embroiled in a debate over spending and whether the government, which currently owes trillions in debt, should be allowed to borrow even more. Not only that, international credit rating agencies have downgraded the national debt for the first time in the nation’s history if Washington doesn’t come up with a solution to lift the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling while implementing a concrete plan to get the nation’s financial house in order. In a recent address to the country, President Obama seemed to have the answer to such a crisis. Obama proposed the American Jobs Act to save the United States’ economy. “The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working,” President Obama said. Essentially, he plans to increase consumption within our economy through job growth. While I do agree that we must focus on job growth within the economy, how do we know this act will work when the 2009 stimulus package did not? In February of 2009, Obama proposed $787 billion in economic stimulus when unemployment was around $25 million. Now, more than two years later, unemployment is still around $25 million. Why, therefore, should Obama’s latest proposals to create jobs, consisting about half the size of the 2009 stimulus, expect to create jobs when the larger stimulus did not?
Compared to the government’s budget and spending money, Apple is valued more than $363 billion. With the rise in Apple’s spendable wealth, experts believe the company may use the money to secure more technology patents or make strategic acquisition of other businesses such as Hulu and Netflix. However, one thing is for sure: this news of Apple having more money than the U.S. government has not fazed the company at all. “We don’t let the cash burn a hole in the pocket or make stupid acquisitions. We’d like to continue to keep our powder dry because we think there are one or more strategic opportunities in the future,” former CEO of Apple Steve Jobs said. Offering Uncle Sam a short-term loan, however, is probably not one of them.