[Ed. – I agree with Forbes’s Tim Worstall. It’s the cash repatriation taxes, stupid. He mentions what USA-T doesn’t: that it’s not just our tax rates, it’s the fact that we tax companies for bringing foreign-profit cash to the U.S., period (as corporate income). Other countries don’t. If we didn’t tax the companies just for bringing the cash home to invest, we’d get a lot more investment of that cash at home.]
The rising cash holdings of U.S. corporations are increasingly in the hands of a few U.S. companies, with just five tech firms having grabbed a third of it. And nearly three-quarters of cash held by non-financial U.S. companies is stashed overseas, outside the long arm of Uncle Sam.
Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), Cisco Systems (CSCO)and Oracle (ORCL) are sitting on $504 billion, or 30%, of the $1.7 trillion in cash and cash equivalents held by U.S. non-financial companies in 2015, according to an analysis released Friday by ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. …
The amount of cash held by U.S. companies rose 1.8% in 2015. Unfortunately for U.S. investors, 72% of total cash held by all non-financial U.S. companies is stockpiled outside the U.S., up from 64% in 2014 and 58% in 2013, as companies try to avoid paying U.S. tax rates.