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What You Should Know / October 9, 2011

www.nytimes.com -- Congress is not the only place where we can see paralysis. Corporations are hoarding cash at record rates. The Federal Reserve recently reported that nonfinancial companies in the United States were holding more than $2 trillion in cash and other liquid assets — money that is earning next to nothing. A considerable amount of that cash has been accumulated in the last two years — and the totals exclude the substantial sums the companies hold abroad in foreign subsidiaries. Of course, it can be sensible for businesses to have a source of emergency cash, but many appear to be stockpiling so much that it’s hard to imagine what emergency they fear. To cite just one example, Google is holding more than $39 billion in cash.

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