A Comprehensive Presentation Of America's $1 Trillion Cash Hoard

Tyler Durden's picture

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VaJim's picture

Hahaha, cash on the sidelines.  How many times did the hosts and guests on CNBC pump that line to look and sound smart?  Great article.

blindfaith's picture

Cash and Equivalents is what the charts says.  Isn't an IOU considered cash on the accounting sheet?  Is anybody counting the IOU's ?   Are 'goods delivered, but not paid for'  counted in equivalents?

bingocat's picture

Short-term IOUs are Accounts Receivable. Not Cash & Cash Equivalents.

If you count them as cash, you'd have to count the Accounts Payable as Debt.

hotkarlandtheclevelandsteamers's picture

why is apple not on the top 20 list.

Cleanclog's picture

Agree.  Makes the whole list look bogus given last week's announcement.

lawrence1's picture

Someone correct me if I´m wrong, but isnt all this cash on the sidelines potentially highly inflationary if it starts getting spent?  What would it do to already soaring commodity prices?  Dont these companies get all kinds of tax breaks, sorry, incentives to encourage investment?  Frankly, I never believed that shit in the first place.  And all the bad investments losses paid for by the public.  Totally phoney capitalism, rather corporate fascism.  How can you go bankrupt if you run the government? Simple, you dont.  Until the ponzi collapses. 

Cursive's picture

Two words: Debt service.

Just to be safe, many non-investment grade rated companies drew down their credit lines and parked the cash in the bank.



The last big contributor to an expansion of cash at U.S. companies is the issuance of new debt. This source of cash predominantly came into play in 2010. As the economy stabilized and the credit markets, especially the bond market, opened up, companies took advantage of the opportunity to refinance near-term debt maturities.

Attitude_Check's picture

Absolutely!  When a company expects future earnings growth it can afford a higher debt ratio, conversely if it expect future earnings shrinkage it needs a lower debt ratio.


All that cash is already "spoken for" to pay-down the existing debt.  In a deflationary environment cash is king and it will take some serious predicted ROI to pry it out of their hands.

UncleFester's picture

"all this cash on the sidelines (is) potentially highly inflationary"

No, cash minus debt is negative.  This cash will not go into the economy, in general.  At best it's a wash, at worst...

Shit, the POMO days for the past two years dwarf these amounts.


i-dog's picture

"isnt all this cash on the sidelines potentially highly inflationary if it starts getting spent?"

Short answer: It won't get spent into the US economy.

a) As noted in the article, much of it is overseas and won't be repatriated;

b) As noted in the article and by the poster above me, it is well and truly offset by much greater debt.

Borrow here (under ZIRP) and save/invest there (where ROI is greatest).

blindfaith's picture

I-dog...you forgot to mention that as of October 22, ONE BILLION US dollars has been spent in the USA by corporations (not candidate raised funds) on political ads (reference NPM business national news yesterday).  That is 1,000-million corporate dollars helping to spread the wealth to main street.  God Bless America, and all you corporate typhoons. I would have rather just gotten a nice fat check in the mail and a list of who I need to vote for ( like they do in other countries).

11b40's picture

hahahahahah.  Assume you are joking.  Main Street won't see any benefit.  Corporate America and Main Street are mortal ememies, even if many on Main Street still don't see it.

rocker's picture

How did GE get on any list. Their accounting has always been a misleading fraud. Just another footnote.  Yup.

Mitchman's picture

When will we stop this structural insanity?  The corporations are acting rationally.  The rest of the world has gone mad!

wreynol4's picture

I like your swag

Cui Bono's picture

But, but, but, the POTUS will be on the Daily Show tomorrow getting the message out, whatever the fuck it is...... sigh....CB

ZeroPower's picture

I dislike that show even more now. Stupid liberal hippy.

Number 156's picture

Hmmm, It also seems that a lot of businesses and corporations see themselves in a banana republic. I'm sure they're scared to death of what more of that can mean down the road.

Speaking of banana republics, I hear that the voting machines in the USA have been possibly tampered with, and the goverment looks the other way as usual. I cant help but to laugh a little here, seeing that the USA is supposed to be the shining example of liberty and justice to all the non democratic and third world nations. It kinda sucks doesnt it.

Fraud-Esq's picture

Under the OLD FASB rules, how much clear cash do they have minus various black holes that only they know about? 

GE? Yeah, right....that's not cash, but a life-raft for the crash which was delayed by politicians and central bankers until further notice.    

Ludwig Van's picture


Such steely efficiency embedded within a lardy welfare politicult: Which is the real America?


doolittlegeorge's picture

first off no tech company will repatriate the cash or capital investment from abroad because "when you steal intellectual property your operation is located outside the USA."  The East Asians know most of the tech companies aren't their "for the cheap labor" since "they can get better quality and even better logistics if they were in Ohio."  Won't happen because "if want to steal your own people's intellectual property you have to give us the mfging plant"--which of course makes these companies great investments "provided they can work out all the intellectual property lawsuits amongst themselves."  There's a very interesting "three way" between Apple/Motorola/Microsoft right now as a matter of fact.  Take some time...learn why.  Needless to say "one look at the legal team says these guys aren't lacking in cash."  More to the point "look at cap ex spending."  If you look at Apple's cap ex spending "it's no accident they keep creating the top of the line."  Needless to say "if the cash isn't there you're not spending the non-money either."  Finally if you're looking for a dividend as your "truth teller" think again as well.  Your government has "solved the problem of yield."  You have none, so there.  So if what is said here really is true, well...we're already dead then, right?

gwar5's picture

This is the Latin dictator effect. When a marxist dictator comes into power, investment and capital flees, or sits on the sidelines, and the economy "mysteriously" stalls which requires scapegoats.

Nobody wants to be the next scapegoat to be slaughtered. They wait it out, or go away permanently if things don't look like they will turn around or it looks like they'll be targeted.

Halliburton was smart and saw it coming. They were demonized in the last decade and their HQ  moved from Houston to Dubai (no taxes) 60 days after the 2006 congressional class was seated. That's why they aren't beat up on anymore.  

Businesses are going on strike too.






Everyman's picture

Corporate America just "wrote off" the American Citizen.  This is infuriating.  If you "financial guys" do not understand what this post mean past the economic/stock/financial concerns and impact, you will never "get it". 
This is exactly why those criminals need to be put up against the wall hard and in finality.  They have wrecked the economy and then raped the remains.  I have ZERO moral  equivication on making these assholes pay for what they have don.  I am not alone, and there ane hundreds of millions like me that want Wall Street criminals OFF THE FACE OF THE FUCKIN' EARTH!!  The deserve to draw no more breath.  What the hell do you think it means in economist speak with this quote?

"Perhaps the biggest, and most overtouted, silver lining of the US depression is the massive (presumably) amount of cash held by corporate America, built up over the past two years thanks to massive headcount reductions, overall cost-cutting, and record drops in CapEx investment."


"The primary culprit: companies are all too aware of the record excess capacity slack, and that there is no need to invest for the future until others do so first."

That means screw everybody and thanks for the money.  You don;t have any more that we can extract from you therefore we will not invest in you.  Sorry!  It is "just business"!  Sorry to you Mr. Banker criminal CEO but a bullet in your head is "just business" as well, and I say a well paid investment.

"Perhaps the biggest, and most overtouted, silver lining of the US depression is the massive (presumably) amount of cash held by corporate America, built up over the past two years thanks to massive headcount reductions, overall cost-cutting, and record drops in CapEx investment."

That quopte is another "FUCK YOU AMERICA" from the banker criminal cabal.  Thanks for the layoffs, and the lack of committment to AMERICA.  We bailed you sorry assess out of your own fuckin greed fisky Bullshit, and THIS is the thanks that American Citizens get????!  ARE YOU FUCKIN' KIDDING ME.


I AM EVERYMAN and there are many that are FED UP and DONE with BAU!  The next group had better heed the warnings of Karl Denniger and the rest and FIX THIS FUCKIN' mess.  The bad guys go to jail, HFT goes away, Fed Res GOES AWAY.


That would make a pretty good start.  If the next crop of congressmen cannot or will not change, that show AMERICA that VOTING NO LONGER works and LAWS MEAN NOTHING.  It will be blood in the streets.



doolittlegeorge's picture

you're only encouraging them.  they make money on the actual blood in the streets, actually.  The question is "after giving them all the people's money in the bailout does the givernment really need to give them another trillion or two of the funny stuff"?  Well..."7 days to the election, boys!"  Now don't forget to listen to Jimmy Buffet sing "God's own Drunk" before you go.  If you "run into the bear" you're excused.

CitizenPete's picture

What will it take?  What will it take? 


Why do we sit?

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

"The bad guys go to jail, HFT goes away, Fed Res GOES AWAY."

Yup, we need an entire system reset.  We are compiling a list at PsychoNews of psychos in the oligarchy, and identifying them one at a time.  Check it out, PsychoNews: http://psychonews.site90.net

dizzyfingers's picture

I've come to the same conclusions as you...there is only ONE real solution.

No more making nice.

Incubus's picture

there are billions of "everymen" that are seen as nothing more than the cattle of civilization: units of labor, means of wealth production for the bourgeosie.


They'll slaughter us when we're no longer of use, and go onto the next herd.  The "east" is getting fattened up for their fleecing, and it will be the same story after they're fleeced; perhaps africa's next?  No matter--if you complacent fucks wait long enough, it'll be our turn to get some hand-outs from corporate mother once more. 

And all of us brought it onto ourselves, by playing their game for decades, for believing some delusional bullshit such as a piece of the pie actually being ours.  Get real.  Bloody war and revolution will not stop them either, why?  Because we're the problem.  A little whiff of a wad of ben franks under your nose and you're their whore; it doesn't matter what currency it's in, 30 pieces of silver is still 30 pieces of silver.


This is how a moral-less society ends, and I say good-riddance.  The culture of materialism and lack of character will end, and we'll be forced to forge something better out of ourselves. 

Widowmaker's picture

"The culture of materialism and lack of character will end, and we'll be forced to forge something better out of ourselves."

You nailed it.

grunion's picture

I sure am gonna miss air-conditioning!!

Attitude_Check's picture

So I assume you are investing in your local community using your savings (and leveraging that savings with more debt if needed) to pay for lawn care, a new car, a new patio, hiring a maid, etc.

It is certainly true that some companies and certainly banks have made their money by ripping off folks - but certainly not all.  It will not be to our benefit if the companies spend all their cash now, and then need it later and have to lay everyone off because they are bankrupt.  There comes a time where the grown-ups have to actually act grown-up, and that means dealing with reality the way it is and not they way we want it to be.

We are in the mess we are because folks think it is OK to demand what other people should do with their money - often via government.  Obviously that hasn't worked out so well.

Now what I want to see is a number of folks brought up on fraud, RICO, and treason charges:

1.  Hank Paulson,

2.  GW Bush

3.  Rob Rubin

4.  Ben Bernacke

5.  The CEOs of EVERY bailed out bank KNOWINGLY making ~80% of bad mortgages (based on sworn testimony)

6.  The Heads of Fanny and Freddie

7.  And just because he has been encouraging this nonsense by being criminally stupid - Paul Krugman

8.  Obama impeached

9. Sen Frank

10. Sen Dodd


arm50's picture

i bet the tax sheltered cash on the balance sheet is far greater than $250B and concentrated. AAPL's effective tax rate was 5% less this qtr primarily driven by oversea's revenue. IBM same story. they must all be waiting for the next capital repatriation tax holiday.  

Miles Kendig's picture

Schulden Macht Frei

What insanity

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Yeah, for anyone who ever mentions the words Gold Bubble, how about Debt Bubble, Fiat Bubble?


Do you own any gold? No?  Do you have a large amount of debt?  Yes.  Hm.... Lets see where bubble is more likely to be...

Miles Kendig's picture

Do you own any gold? No?  Do you have a large amount of debt?  Yes.  Hm.... Lets see where bubble is more likely to be...

I'll be presumptuous and bite as if this is directed at me.  Y/N.  Looks like you're backwards this time there heard committee..  Besides, there really is only kind of bubble I am interested in. And no, unlike the preference of so many it's not made of glass and yes, it never runs out of prospects.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Haha, no, I can tell by your writings that you aren't heavily indebted, I was framing the question towards John Doe, who is skeptical of gold, and replies that there is a gold bubble!  

Miles Kendig's picture

Thought so.  Still, it is always best to ask.

I'll go with your debt proposition, but I'll reserve judgment on fiat.  Fiat run like Colonial Scrip that is focused on being far more micro sensitive would be fully serviceable without many of the drawbacks of the current debauchery


sbenard's picture

?Wow! Good info!

Now, if we can just convince the Teleprompter Tyrant NOT to impose another excess profits tax, as FDR did, that drained corporate America's cash reserves, put millions more Americans on the streets without jobs, and deepened the Depression. Why do I have serious doubts that he will? Keep his covetous hands off, that is.

dizzyfingers's picture

Check out HB4646 - not a hoax!

dizzyfingers's picture

 Night of the Living Fed - excellent


count_de_monee's picture

Portugal Update.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, read my earlier comments (note to TD: I've posted in the comments section what I believe is original and accurate analysis on a less covered topic. You may use it as you wish.)

As promised on the Portugal saga, I'm bringing you breaking news.

Here's the latest. The PSD party (largest opposition party) has just announced the breakdown of negotiations with the Socialist government to approve the budget. The leader of the opposition has scheduled a press conference for 2000 GMT today. Expectations are that he will announce the PSD will abstain in the vote in the name of national interests. I'm not so sure the consensus is right. He may very well announce his party will vote against the budget, which would mean Portugal's CDS will widen considerably, the government would fall and the IMF/EFSF would be on the next flight to Lisbon.


Stay tuned. It seems things are getting interesting in the EU again.

nmewn's picture

Been sayin this for years...

"...M&A are "synergies" which is a prospectus-friendly way of saying mass layoffs."

This is why I love this site.

The ability to cut through business conference marketing bullshit that all corporate officers go to and get to the nub of it.

Now, I wonder, ST yield rates being equal...we were to have a tax amnesty for foreign held cash along with a competitive corporate tax rate where that cash would be ;-)

Of course, that debt is also quite impressive...LOL.

dizzyfingers's picture

What have we learned in 2,064 years?

  "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
  public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
  tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should
 be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to
 work, instead of living on public assistance."
                -  Cicero   - 55 BC
    So..., evidently nothing

Goldenballs's picture

Sitting on huge piles of cash whilst the customers they hope to sell to have less and less to purchase with.Economics of the madhouse.Until the elites introduce import quota,s and punitive taxation on cheap imports and produce goods at home we are all wasting our time.

11b40's picture

You are EXACTLY right.  Been saying it for 25 years.  We are stupid, stupid, stupid as a country to keep voting ourselves more an more benefits while at the same time reducing our ability to pay for them.

We "want" clean air & water, good roads and infrastructure, safe food, good working conditions, fair employment laws and minimum wages, good benefits and retirement plans, great health care...and on & on.

At the same time, we have "right" to the lowest possible prices when we shop - consumers or businesses.  Who gives a shit where it comes from?  Who gives a shit if it erodes the tax base, and eliminates the high wage jobs that pay for all the other stuff we "want"?

The math does not work, folks, and it never has.  We were sold out to the multi-national corporations, and we voted for it.  I don't remember which communist leader it was, but they nailed it when they said American "capitalist" would sell you the rope you use to hang them with.

We swallowed the supply-side economics 'theory' too, but now we are learning the hard way that it really is all about demand.

It's like we suspended the laws of Econ 101.  I learned 2 things in Chapter 1 of econ 101 over 40 years ago. 

First, 'Supply & Demand' - not Supply or Demand.  The 2 are forever coupled.

Second, 'Guns or Butter' - not Guns and Butter.  A society can one or the other, but not both.  In the history of mankind, it has never worked over time.

In the immortal words of Forest Gump, "stupid is as stupid does".

I could write a book on this, but I gotta go to work.  An account called yesterday with an opportunity, but I am having a lot of trouble finding the inventory to fill this potential order.  None of my vendors (I broker over 20 factories & import companies) seem to have an extra 3,000 pieces of anything.  3 years ago, this would not have been an issue.