Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

What Could Apple Buy With Its $137 Billion? About 18 Homes Each for Every Yahoo to Not Work At, and More!

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Last week, the fight between Apple and pugnacious hedge fund investor David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital went all flat when he withdrew a lawsuit after the company yanked a proxy proposal that would have allowed shareholders to vote on eliminating preferred stock from the company charter.

But the real issue at the core of the fight — the massive mountain of $137 billion in a cash hoard that Apple holds and that Einhorn wants it to distribute in some fashion to shareholders — still remains.

It’s not clear what Apple will do now, especially since a lot of it is overseas. But execs have indicated that they are evaluating what to do to best serve nervous investors, who have bidded the stock down 40 percent since the fall. While it’s not clear what that will be, it’s also pretty likely Apple will do something.

Until the company decides, though, I have some good ideas for CEO Tim Cook to consider:

* Apple could purchase 1,567,506 Tesla Model S Performance vehicles with 85 kWh battery and a carbon fiber spoiler at $87,400 each, which would effectively allow CEO Elon Musk to buy the New York Times (a bargain at $1.42 billion!) and use it as his own personal blog.

* It could buy 17.9 houses for each Yahoo employee located near its Sunnyvale, Calif., HQ, so they could be super-close to work, per CEO Marissa Mayer’s wishes. That breaks down to 206,015 overall homes for 11,500 workers, at a median sales price of $665,000 for the area.

* Apple could acquire a big chunk of the Internet all at once, including Groupon ($3.36 billion), Yahoo ($25.95 billion), Facebook ($61.7 billion), Twitter ($10 billion), LinkedIn ($18.32 billion), Yelp ($1.47 billion), AOL ($2.81 billion), Pandora ($2.09 billion), Zynga ($2.69 billion), OpenTable ($1.32 billion) and, finally, Pinterest ($2.5 billion). Phew.

* It could pay Andrew Mason’s $378.36 severance after getting jacked as CEO of Groupon 364,013,179 times over.

* Apple could pay for 97,857 parties for Yammer’s David Sacks’s 40th birthday (at $1.4 million each). Snoop Dogg included.

* It could foot the bill for the budget cuts to save the U.S. government $85 billion this year, so Americans could stop having to say “sequester.”

* Apple could buy $329 16 gigabyte Wi-Fi iPad minis for 416,413,374 people — everyone in the U.S. (315,429,318), plus France and Spain.

* Or it could just give the 7,069,909,686 people on the planet $19.38 each, and call it a day.

* Apple could use $1 bills to carpet an area of 560 square miles, which would more than cover Silicon Valley.

* Finally — and I think this would be a nice gesture to make up for calling his efforts a “silly sideshow” — Apple could give Einhorn 15.56 times the value of his $8.8 billion fund.

Or, of course, not.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik