Apple Has More Cash than the United States Government

When Apple announced its Q3 2011 results last week, everyone was surprised. Apple had managed to beat even the most optimistic estimates on Wall Street and had posted a record quarter, even by its own lofty standards.

Each figure reported in the Q3 results just made my jaw open wider with awe, until it finally it the floor. Apple had posted revenues of $28.6 billion, and a net profit of $7.3 billion. What was even more impressive was total value of its cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities – $76.2 billion. Going over those figures again, I went nuts and started dreaming about all the things I could do if I had that kind of money.

I could picture Steve Jobs diving into a pile of gold Krugerrands and cash, a la Scrooge McDuck. I even wrote a long post on “What Apple Could Do With its Billions in Cash“.

Today, however, the Financial Post reported something that completely blew my mind. Apple, now has more cash reserves than the U.S. Government’s operating balance, which is less than $74 billion, according to figures revealed by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Just think about it for a minute – Apple has more cash than the most powerful government on the planet. Obviously, the numbers aren’t comparable and don’t have a lot of significance, but they do illustrate the fact that Apple’s power has increased by an order of magnitude, since its near demise in the late 90s.

Its market cap is now just $33 billion less than Exxon Mobil, the most valuable company in the world. My bet is, when the iPhone 5 launches in September, Apple will easily cross the $400 billion valuation mark and beat Exxon to become the most valuable corporation in the world.

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