Land of the Free, sponsored by Apple?

The US government now has less cash than Apple. Call us opportunist, but we see the beginnings of a new special relationship...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 25 Aug 2011
What with all the back-and-forth exchanges going on at the US House of Representatives over who should borrow what for how long, it seems no one’s thought of the obvious solution: ask Steve Jobs what he’d do. Because, as the BBC has spotted, figures released today show that, with just $73.3bn (£45.3bn), the US’ spare cash reserve is now officially smaller than Apple’s savings account, which currently stands at $79.4bn. Clearly, Jobs is better at running his organisation than President Obama…

In all seriousness, that does indicate just how bad the crisis in the US is. According to the figures, its government is now spending $200bn more than it gets in taxes each month. With those sorts of outgoings, it doesn’t take a mathematical genius to realise that that $73bn isn’t going to last very long. At Apple, on the other hand, things have been going swimmingly: last year, it shifted 20m iPhones, 9.25m iPads and 4m Mac computers, with sales soaring to $28.6bn and profits jumping by 125%, to $7.31bn. Not bad.

Analysts have wasted plenty of column inches speculating on what Apple’s going to do with its cash – and, indeed, why it’s bided its time for so long. The overwhelming consensus seems to be that it’s positioning itself to swoop on a rash of Silicon Valley start-ups, absorbing them (like the Blob, it’ll only make it stronger). Has it ever considered lending, though? The Republicans might object less to raising the debt ceiling, if they knew they were borrowing off an all-American hero like Jobs. Just imagine: The Land of Opportunities, sponsored by Apple. He could even get Jonathan Ives to redesign the dollar bill. Mmm. Shiny…

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