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From Bespoke Investment Group

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.38.02 AM

Before the company installed a GPS system, the drivers of 37 front-loaders clocked-in approximately 250 hours a week of overtime at one and a half times pay. Once the company started monitoring the time they spent in the yard before and after completing their routes and the time and location of stops that they made, the number of over hours plummeted to 70 per week. This translated to substantial savings for a company whose drivers earn $20 an hour.

It’s good to be Apple. Really good. As of this week, in fact, $700 billion worth of good. Apple’s closing price of $122.02 per share on Tuesday made it the first American company ever to cross that market-cap threshold.

Apple is also now selling bonds in Switzerland, which is probably a smart way for the company to buffer its ginormous pile of cash. (As The Wall Street Journal points out, this means Apple can use proceeds from debt sales to reinvest in itself without getting taxed the way it would if it used money brought back from overseas.)

Plus, global interest rates are so low that selling bonds is a pretty cheap way to raise money. And boy does Apple have a lot of money—a staggering $178 billion in cash on hand. (That’s more than double Bill Gates’s net worth, and he’s the richest man in the world.)

Apple has the financial influence of a not-even-that-small country at this point. The company’s $178 billion—$178 billion!—puts it on par with the gross domestic product of a country like New Zealand, surpassing the GDPs of Vietnam, Morocco, and Ecuador, according to the most recent World Bank data.

If Apple were a country, it’d be the 55th richest country in the world.

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/02/apple-is-basically-a-small-country-now/385385/#ixzz3RX6ALYqv

The moment Janet Yellen figured it out, below, via Zerohedge:

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So what if your company just burned 800 million in cash its last fiscal year? Burn more. From Business Insider:

President Barack Obama said “shame on them” after being asked about reports that, to dodge paying benefits under Obamacare, the office-supply retailer Staples was barring part-time workers from putting in more than 25 hours a week. In an interview with BuzzFeed News published Wednesday, Obama said Staples should be more than able to afford to provide affordable healthcare for its workers. “I haven’t looked at Staples stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is, but I suspect that they could well afford to treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security, and if they can’t, then they should be willing to allow those workers to get the Affordable Care Act without cutting wages,” he said. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-responds-to-staples-telling-employees-to-work-no-more-than-25-hours-2015-2#ixzz3RTAg7Yvn

On a side note: I’m bullish on BuzzFeed, and hope one day we’ll see an IPO so I can get a piece of the action. The fact that they landed an interview with THE most powerful man in the world is substantial.

From Gallup:

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

read the rest here: http://www.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/181469/big-lie-unemployment.aspx

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