Apple makes $1,445 a second

Originally published at:


Apple is hoarding cash, like all the other Zillion’aire Corps out there.


The totals are kind of abstract, since these are companies of different sizes doing different things. I think it’s more interesting to note, say, that Apple could afford to pay each one of their employees an extra $370,000.


Neat graphic, but borderline useless. It doesn’t say whether these are gross or net profits, and to be really useful it would have to reflect net as a percentage of gross. For example, Amazon spends nearly all the profits revenue it makes, but it’s share value continues to steadily rise because it’s spending most of it on expanding six ways from Sunday.

Wells Fargo is fourth at $694 per second? I guess crime really does pay!

Gilead Sciences has an ominous ring to it.

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The distinction is between profit and revenue. Amazon spends its revenues, not its profits. Anyway, this is profit. Probably net. Also, there are 31,536,000 seconds in a year, yay! (it is a bit silly.)

My point is that the more a company spends, the smaller its net profits. To expand, a company has to spend more of it’s revenue and thus clears less profit. Net profits don’t automatically correlate to a company’s value.

To be clear, I like the graphic. It may be a bit silly, but it’s clever. I just think it could actually be a useful tool with more information.

ETA: I see. I did indeed type the wrong word in my first comment. Corrected.




I have to wonder what the local economy would look like if every employee got a $300k end of year bonus? Of course they can’t do that because so many people would quit and start their own businesses. Also because a lot of that money is still overseas hiding in tax shelters.

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If every Apple employee got a $300k EOY bonus more people would be priced out of Bay Area houses, and Apple employees already in a house would end up with his & hers Teslas (and not the 3). Or maybe more panameras. I’m not convinced employee retention would go up, in fact I think it may go down as people either self fund startups, or go self fund multi-year sabbaticals, but I’m sure retention would be UP significantly right up until the EOY bonuses are paid. Plus I would be rather upset I had left to work at some other Bay Area company.

Well, $400 billion less this year than last.

In the past, working for a small non-profit, I would have occasion to meet with big business CEOs. Going into meetings, to amuse myself, I would calculate their income during our 1-2 hour meeting vs. my yearly salary.

The amusement fell into the “laugh so you don’t cry” category.

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Well, from what I’ve seen, money doesn’t bring happiness, in fact often quite the opposite. Find solace in that, perhaps?

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That’s nothing, I make that much in a month


Then, why is Apple paying so little dividends per share?

Because dividends are, like, so pre-millennium…


Possibly, but profits need to be sent back to the shareholders in form of dividends, or so I have understood. Or they need to be reinvested, possibly in buying back shares, possibly in productive investment like developping a new version of iOS, new iPhones, new shops, etc… So I don’t quite understand why all this money is defined as “profits”.

Obviously, I could just download the information Apple publishes for its shareholder and get the answer, but I just hoped somebody would have had a digest handy.

In other words: it is a bit naive to criticise corporations for making money. Corporations are not these “artificial lifeforms” as is sometimes presented on boingboing. There are always real humans at the receiving end of these piles of money. How and in which form they get that pile of money is what we should find out. Cui bono.

Try telling a macrophage white blood cell it’s part of a thing called a “human being,” and is not actually a Cthulhu-looking badass creature from beyond.


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Ah, well, a company does not in fact have to do anything with its profits.

The idea that companies exist to provide money to shareholders is I’m sorry to say very old-fashioned.

These days there are all kinds of clever schemes to enable money to go to those the people in charge of the company (and they may or may not bear much relation to the people the shareholders would like to be in charge) want the money to go to.

When it comes to assessing how much money a corporation is making, looking at what they declare to be a profit doesn’t help.

Most companies of any size have a nice merry-go-round set up where sub-divisions are charged for services, IP licenses, etc. by other sub-divisions, amounts made in one division are loaned to another for investment in projects, etc., etc.

Really all one can go by is revenue earned. That at least gives you something to compare before all the shenanigans start.

The companies are artificial life forms stuff is slightly tongue-in-cheek but it is a valid way of viewing them given the legal framework we exist in.


And given the way they act.

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You are not making sense. I am pretty sure that all these billions are going to real humans and not disappearing into some legal void.