Tech giant Apple last year took advantage of Republican tax cuts to announce it was bringing home a hoard of $252 billion it had stashed overseas at a meager 15.5 percent tax rate ($100 billion of which it later said would go to stock buybacks). As of Tuesday, when the company announced its first-quarter earnings, filings show it has about $245 billion in cash on hand, up from $237.1 billion the previous quarter.
$245 billion is a lot of money—the kind of sum that usually only comes up when discussing federal government programs, a handful of the biggest corporate mergers in history, or Jeff Bezos’s net worth in a few years. Imagining that Apple decided to move all of it right now (ignoring whether or not that is possible as well as the company’s considerable debt), here’s some of the stuff it could throw down for.*
- Approximately 72 duck-sized Howard Schultzes (at $3.4 billion a pop, assuming the duck-sized variant is of equal value to the human-sized Howard Schultz) or one Howard Schultz-sized duck (theoretically could lead to the cure for cancer or death or whatever)
- 34.17 percent of the $717 billion 2019 defense budget, which seems like enough for an enterprising coup leader to give the remaining 65.83 percent a good go of it
- According to Forbes’ 2018 NFL franchise valuation, every single NFL team ($82 billion) nearly three times. (But do you really need three Buffalo Bills? No one’s gonna notice. Alternatively, Apple could just buy the Steelers 95 times)
- CEO Tim Cook could kick some money upstairs to his friend in the White House by staying at the Trump International Hotel DC’s Trump Townhouse at a reported rate of $20,000 an evening roughly 12,250,000 days in a row, or until the year 35,580 AD
- At the wholesale price of $781 per pound, 313,700,384 pounds of state-legal Colorado weed (156,850 U.S. tons, or about the weight of two and two-thirds RMS Titanics at the original vessel’s displacement of 52,310 long tons/58,587 U.S. tons. That’s right. Apple can afford nearly three Titanics’ weight in legal weed)
- According to Credit Suisse, Bangladesh (net worth $240 billion in 2018)
- Ending world hunger from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1 (going by the UN estimate in 2015 of $267 billion per year)
- Spitballing the cost of returning to the moon at around $57 billion, Apple could send a guy to the moon, bring him back, send a guy to the moon, bring him back, send a guy to the moon, bring him back, send a guy to the moon, bring him back, and then send the guy back to the moon and leave him there to die (4.3 missions)
- 5,061 1962 Ferrari 250 GTOs at a 2018 auction price of $48,405,000 (only 36 were ever made but whatever)
- Hiring me for, say, $80,000 per year plus $24,000 in benefits, for the next 273,623 years (not counting inflation and continuing to pay me post mortem)
- At a current net wealth estimated at $131.9 billion, around 1.86 Jeff Bezoses
*Disclaimer: I am bad at math, so feel free to yell at me in the comments below.