About a month ago, when discussing the debunking, for the latest time, the biggest lie in modern history, namely the massive exaggeration about the corporate cash on the sidelines, we noted: "Our advice to all those who like blind lemmings follow the advice and chase the "cash hoard" - think, and do your homework first. If indeed over a third of the record cash holdings are foreign, they are as good as useless to shareholders." The reason for this: a major portion of the billion or so dollars in cash is held abroad and "repatriating this cash to the good old USA would cost companies hundreds
of billions in US corporate taxes. That's right: even though companies
are taxed abroad, the issue of double taxation is resolved by
subtracting foreign taxes paid from the US tax liability. However,
because foreign corporate taxes are typically lower there is an adverse
tax consequence associated with remittance to the parent company.
In other words, of the $1.2 or however many trillions in total
corporate cash on balance sheets, a good 30% chunk of this belongs to
Uncle Sam if these companies wish to use it for domestic IRR purposes.
And yes, just so there is no confusion: using foreign cash to pay dividends or share repurchases is considered repatriation from the perspective of US tax regulations." And now that the cat is out of the bag that the huge cash hoard is really about 30% less, here come these very same multinationals begging Obama for tax amnesty so they can actually bring the cash home and, gasp, use it. Too bad this request will never fly, and why even CNBC may soon (with a few cartoons), understand just how stupid they sound in pumping the hollow cash on the sidelines argument day in and day out.