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Sun May 24 23:22:24 SAST 2015

Even Apple has more juice than the US

Sunday Times Foreign Desk with Reuters | 31 July, 2011 02:11
Apple Reports Quarterly Earnings
Pedestrians walk by an Apple Store on July 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. beat Wall Street expectations with a third quarter net profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per share, compared to $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per share one year ago.
Image by: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

As the US Congress has just days to raise the debt ceiling before the country starts running out of money to pay its bills, maybe the cash-strapped government should start selling iPads.

CNN reported that, according to the latest statement from the US Treasury, the government had an operating cash balance on Wednesday of $73.8-billion - less than what Apple CEO Steve Jobs has lying around.

Tech juggernaut Apple had $76.2-billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June, according to an earnings report. Unlike the US government, scrambling to avoid defaulting on its debt, Apple takes in more money than it spends.

Meanwhile, Democrats sought to forge a last-ditch compromise with Republicans on Friday by offering a concession to avoid a default, but a bitter divide remained before Tuesday's deadline to raise the debt ceiling. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a deficit-cutting plan and the Democrat-led Senate quickly rejected it - which underscored ideological differences but also opened the way to start negotiating a deal.

The back-to-back votes broke weeks of political inertia in efforts to lift the $14.3-trillion US debt limit by Tuesday, after which the world's largest economy will be unable to pay all of its bills, the government says.

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