THE debt crisis engulfing the US government has left it with less ready cash than computer giant Apple. Official figures show the US Treasury has £44.8billion in cash on its books - compared with £46.3billion at Apple.
One internet blogger joked: "Well Obama isn't in charge of Apple - so no surprise!"
Finance experts yesterday said the news would increase the nervousness of money markets. They are already spooked because politicians are running out of time to agree a plan to tackle America's £8.8trillion debt.
Wall Street analyst Brett Ryan said: "The US Treasury's cash in hand varies all the time. It goes up one day and down the next.
"But people are nervous here and we're getting closer to the August 2 deadline. We still haven't had an agreement and the markets aren't taking it well."
If the rival Republicans and Democrats cannot agree a debt plan by August 2, America will not be able to borrow money to pay its bills. President Obama yesterday urged the two sides to stop bickering over the country's finances and find a way "out of this mess".
He said: "We are almost out of time."
If the deal is not done it could lead to a default by the world's largest economy - triggering a new global financial crisis.
There was more gloom yesterday as new figures reduced America's growth rate for the first quarter. It means the US economy grew by just 0.1 per cent between January and March.
The UK economy grew by 0.5 per cent in that period.
The US is currently spending £122billion more than it collects in tax revenue each month.
The contrast with its best-known companies is huge.
Apple last week reported the most successful three months in its history.
The company sold an incredible 20.3 million iPhones alone between April and June.
Industry watchers believe Apple may be building up a war chest to be used for strategic acquisitions of other businesses, and to secure technology patents.
As well as Apple, Microsoft has £25billion in cash in the bank.
And American computing giant Cisco Systems has £24.3billion.
Economists believe American companies are sitting on around £750billion in cash - equal to the entire output of Mexico.
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