Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Yes, Jarrod, Apple does have $137.1 billion in liquid assets

March 5, 2013: 8:02 AM ET

Another day, another Apple-bashing headline on Seeking Alpha

Scrooge McDuck. Image: Disney Co.

Scrooge McDuck's Money Vault. Image: The Walt Disney Company

FORTUNE -- When you write about Apple's (AAPL) finances for a living, your fingers can get tired of typing -- and your readers can get tired of reading -- "cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities" every time you want to refer to the company's hoard of liquid assets.

I try to be precise, but from time to time I spare my fingers -- and my readers -- and rely on the same shorthand used by everyone from CEO Tim Cook to hedge fund billionaire (and Apple litigant) David Einhorn, and I just write "cash."

But a sociologist turned occasional investor and Seeking Alpha contributor named Jarrod Jacinth has taken offense. On Monday he posted a story guaranteed to get the attention of Apple partisans and headline-reading hedge-fund algorithms:

 Apple Does Not Have $137 Billion In Cash

I don't believe Jacinth's little exercise in financial pedantry -- or his risible contention that this is a reason Einhorn dropped his suit against Apple -- justifies the calumny heaped on him in the comment stream.

But I did get a kick out of the question someone posted on Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board:

"Does anyone really think that Apple has a Scrooge McDuck Money Vault somewhere in which Tim Cook can swim in $137 billion in cash?"

Below: Where Apple parks its "cash," courtesy of Asymco's Horace Dediu.

Source: Horace Dediu

Source: Horace Dediu. Click to enlarge.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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