The New York Times says that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has more than $150 billion “in the bank.” And that’s the combined cash reserves of Britain and Israel. But the reality is that the tech giant doesn’t have $150 billion “in the bank,” points out Tim Worstall of Forbes. According to Apple’s latest 10-Q filing, the tech giant has about $18 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

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Is it logical to say Apple has more cash than the two governments?

And the remaining portion of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s large “cash pile” is in the form of short-term and long-term marketable securities. Of course, all those marketable securities can be turned into cash. But then the entire company could be turned into cash. Tim Cook could issue more stock whenever he feels like gaining more cash. So, there is a difference between cash and marketable securities, albeit a minor one.

You can’t say that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has more cash than Israel and Britain combined. The two governments have their own central banks. While Eurozone governments don’t have the power to print their currency, Britain and Israel can print more banknotes whenever they want as long as people are willing to accept them. The two countries also have the capabilities to create as much electronic money as they want. In fact, that’s what the U.S. government has been doing with quantitative easing over the past few years. Therefore, claims that Apple has more cash than the countries that can print their own cash have a logical problem.

A big chunk of Apple’s cash in the form of notes, bills and bonds

A large chunk of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s “cash pile” is in the form of bonds, notes and bills. If we count these securities as cash then the debts of Britain and Israel should be considered as negative cash. Both these countries have large outstanding debts, so, by this definition, the two nations have negative amounts of cash.

So, depending on which of the two scenarios we look at for our arguments, even someone with just $1 is richer than the two governments. Or nobody can have more money than those countries because they can issue as much money as they like. But it’s obscure and unrealistic to say that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has more cash than Israel and Britain combined.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares fell 0.22% to $591.50 in pre-market trading Tuesday.