In the last quarter of last year, especially with the change in tax rate coming, I think Investors got exasperated. There were a number of investors that this was their largest holding, And it destroyed their record for last year. There were ramifications for what the board did. – Lawrence Haverty, Gamco Investors on Apple’s $137 billion dollar cash hoard

“That absurd quote above was heard this morning on Bloomberg with Tom Keene interviewing Haverty. The display of investing acumen cognitive dissonance is rather ironic,” Barry Ritholtz writes for The Big Picture. “As a longstanding Apple guy (think Mac Classic in 1989) and someone who was pushing the stock post iPod at $15 (pre-split), I cannot help but be astounded at the current crop of Apple shareholders. Wall Street has always misunderstood Apple but its now getting ridiculous.”

Ritholtz writes, “If you want to know why Apple is holding onto all that money (aside from obvious tax considerations), just look at Dell. It is a cautionary tale than any technology company can miss the next shifting tech trend and quickly become irrelevant. Bang, you are the next Maytag.”

“What should Apple do? For legal reasons, they should hear what these activist shareholder are suggesting, giving them a thorough hearing out, with all attendant chin stroking and ‘Hmmm, interesting’ — prior to ignoring them,” Ritholtz writes. “Apple has a long-term strategic plan which for obvious competitive reasons is top secret. Sorry, activist investors, but we cannot share them with you because it would give an advantage to competitors like Samsung and Google and Amazon and Facebook. But rest assured, we have a plan.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote two days ago:

Obviously, as they’re not stupid, Apple has some master plan for all of that cash. Whether it be buying up content creators who refuse to play ball, snapping up Microsoft and putting them out of their wretched misery, building flying cars and developing iTransporters, buying Lithuania, or whatever… eventually we’ll find out what Steve told Tim to save up that mountain of cash for.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Sarah” and “JES42″ for the heads up.]

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