Yesterday, President Obama talked up corporate tax reform, and one issue that The White House, as well as large corporations, would like to see addressed is cash held overseas.
Large US multinationals have tons of cash parked overseas because to repatriate it would involve a big tax hit on that cash, so they leave it out there, hoping, perhaps that the law will change, or that there will be a one-day repatriation holiday.
The White House didn't endorse a repatriation holiday, but instead put forth the idea of a one-time levy on foreign-held cash, after which companies could do what they please with that money. Ezra Klein has a good explainer here.
There's pretty low odds of this stuff going anywhere, but just talking about foreign cash gets investors interested in who has the cash overseas that could potentially be liberated in a deal.
Goldman Sachs put out a report on the matter, saying:
President Obama proposed a series of economic measures today including changes to corporate taxation. Repatriation was not specifically mentioned, but market participants interpreted the “onetime revenues” associated with the transition to a new business tax system as a sign of possible support for low-tax repatriation of foreign profits.
Via that report, here are the top 10 companies with boatloads of cash parked abroad.
Click the image to enlarge
According to Goldman, the top 50 companies have a total of $1.3 trillion overseas.
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