NEW YORK: As of today, Apple boss Steve Jobs is richer than Uncle Sam.
While the world’s most powerful government has just $73.76 billion in its reserves, the world’s top technology company has a neat cash pile of $75.87 billion.
The US Treasury Department warned that it has now only this much operating budget as Republicans and Democrats fight over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. With only that much reserve at its disposal, the Obama White House has warned the Republicans that the US government won’t be able to meet its obligations as of Aug 2.
Facing a government default, Obama can definitely turn to Steve Jobs to give him a very brief breathing space. The failure by the Republicans and Democrats to come to a compromise to raise the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug 2 could lead to a hike in interest rates. The already battered dollar may also plunge further.
With its market capitalisation of $363.25 billion, Apple is the second largest company on the planet after American oil giant Exxon Mobil. The Cupertino-based Apple started rising suddenly in 2007 when it entered the smartphone market with the launch of its first version of the iPhone.
Within three years, Apple went on to overhaul BlackBerry company Research In Motion (RIM) which invented the smartphone and dominated the market. But its fortunes skyrocketed last year with the launch of the iPad tablet which has sold in millions. In fact, the iPhone and the iPad have made Apple the czar of mobile computing technology as rivals play up catch-up.
The stock of the company, which doesn’t pay dividends, has now touched $400. After Apple, another non-financial company sitting on a huge cash reserve is Microsoft whose own pile is about $40 billion.