Well, it finally happened. Steve Jobs’ consumer electronic empire Apple now has more money to play with than the US treasury – the world’s biggest economy and lynchpin of the Western financial system.
According to US Treasury figures released this week, the United States has an operating cash balance of $73.768 billion.
No small change, but that’s $3 billion less than the $76.2 billion Apple has in back pocket, as of June 25 this year.
Whether that’s an indictment of the current state if the US economy – and the political flap it's in over the debt ceiling – or a testament to Apple’s rocket-fuelled success depends on how you look at it.
Either way it’s quite something to think that Steve Jobs’ warchest could effectively outspend the USA – the single largest purchasing organisation on the planet.
Mind you, if the politicians across the pond pay the sort of money for their computers their UK counterparts do (check yesterday’s story revealing Whitehall pays £3,664 per PC) we can certainly see why Washington is skint and tech companies are minted.
Apple recently spent a paltry $2.6 billion of its reserves snapping up some Nortel patents to feed its insatiable hunger for court room battles. Many commentators therefore think it will be doing more of the same in the future, as well as swallowing up smaller firms it thinks it will be able to leverage into its world straddling consumer electronics business.