Apple could make money by bailing out Greece

“That Apple should buy Greece with all the useless cash it has on hand is just a joke that won’t go away,” Leonid Bershidsky writes for Bloomberg View. “Yet it’s true that, if big American corporations and European politicians had any imagination, they could probably engineer a bailout for the nearly bankrupt country on terms that would benefit everyone.”

“Back in 2012, an investor attending Apple’s general meeting asked Tim Cook, the chief executive officer, if he’d ever considered using the company’s growing cash stash — $97.6 billion at that point — to acquire Greece. ‘We’ve looked into many things,’ but not that, Cook replied,” Bershidsky writes. “So everyone had a laugh and moved on… Apple, in the meantime, more than doubled its hoard, which now amounts $194 billion in cash and equivalents. The company has been paying generous dividends and buying back stock, but the cash pile keeps growing. There’s no way to invest it all.”

“Apple, Microsoft, Google, Pfizer and Cisco have stockpiled $439 billion,” Bershidsky writes. “Greece needs about 190 billion euros ($212 billion) to bring down its debt to the manageable level of 70 percent of gross domestic product. That’s about 48 percent of the five companies’ combined cash stash… In exchange for less than half of their cash — and just 13 percent more than it would cost to pay U.S. taxes — the companies would receive an indefinite, ironclad guarantee of low taxes on non-U.S. operations. Not a bad deal.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There are lessons to be learned from Greece, lessons that would go unlearned if a white knight or group of white knights swooped in to save the day. And those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

30 Comments

    1. Actually, Greece’s debt is incredibly expensive. This is paying a lot and getting little in return. It would be like living with a dire gambling addict. You KNOW they’re going to go blow any dough they get their hands on. They need a lot of help and money is NOT it.

  1. Any entity that bails out Greece will be throwing good money after bad.

    That said, it’s funny to see how awesome American companies have more money and power than many actual nations. No wonder there is so much anti-American pretense on the internet: Jealousy doth stingeth greatly.

  2. oh hell no.
    Examine the state of the Greek culture and you’ll run away screaming. Don’t touch that. They have to dig themselves out of the hole they dug for themselves. Stay away. Their problem.

  3. “the companies would receive an indefinite, ironclad guarantee of low taxes on non-U.S. operations. Not a bad deal.”

    . . . AND THE EU would bring suit against both Greece and Apple for making a legal tax reduction agreement in a manner like the EU is trying to throw on Ireland!

  4. I would love for Apple to purchase some small country and develop it to standards as high as its products. This certainly can’t be out of the question.

    However, I do not wish ill will on Greece, not do I wish Greece to learn some mythological lesson on good self-gevernment based on some pie in the sky fiscal responsibility commonly known in Rightwinger circles as austerity. No, not after Nazi Germany brutally invaded and occupied, and plundered Greece of its wealth and left it weak and emaciated. It has not yet recovered from WWII. But current Germany under Merkel still refuses reparations in the form of a bailout equal to the amt. plundered during WWII. So Germany needs to pay off in full its debt to Greece. Only then can the world and the EU have acquired the knowledge on the feasibility for demanding austerity from Greece.

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