Originally Posted by igriv
And what WAS the pile of cash doing? Please enlighten me, since you know so much more about it.
I'm not likely to "enlighten" you, but I can explain my opinion…
There isn't a 'past tense' there. Their "Cash Reserves" ARE held in Marketable Securities, et al…? Those earn interest and other returns. Typically those earnings more than offset any 'losses' due to inflation, etc. That's the most competent way to manage Cash Reserves. And it's that simple, really.
It's the opposite of how you characterized it, which was something like "...sitting there losing value… blah blah… financial incompetence…" Um, no?
I'm not saying they aren't keeping a somewhat excess reserve. But really, how much is too much? That's certainly open to valid debate (all assumptions aside). As I said, I like their plan for a larger dividend and capital return of $100 billion over the next 30 months. Unlike you, I'm also fine with the size of their reserve being as large as it is, and that it might even grow during the next 30 months. Whatever. That isn't what I'm going to judge their overall performance and position on.
Again it's probably about perception. You see it as a "cash pile", which is actually a gross misrepresentation. I probably see it more as Apple does. As a Cash Reserve.
Cash Reserves should be treated as exactly that. You know, as Reserves? So when a cash reserve "sits", it's doing exactly what it should. Remaining safely on hand for a time when it's needed. But it isn't losing value in the meantime, as you implied, due to those securities earning over time.
Clear enough for you?