What Would You Do With $20,000?

By Sid Leader of Portland, Oregon. Sid describes himself as "the only guy in town who has run a classroom, a newsroom and a barroom and lived to tell about it." In 2005, he contributed "Ask Dr. Phillips!"

So, the question of the Summer of 2011 seems to be "donde deniro" and I'm not talking about the movies.

Where is the money? Where?

In the banks, silly, where it's always been. American businesses admit they are sitting pretty on $2,000,000,000,000 in cold, hard cash. That is two trillion dollars for the numerically-impaired, like so many of my friends across the aisle.

At the same time, 50 million Americans own stock in these companies.

What if, hang on now, what if America's corporations decided to send half of that world record cash haul back to the stockholders, who actually own the companies? Just half.

How much money would that be? Per person?

That would be $20,000 per stockholder, like the catchy headline says. 20,000 bucks. Stimulating, ain't it?

Just one question. Two, actually.

Why doesn't Big Business cut the check?

And when does Tiffany's close?

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    Well... For one thing it's dinero. For another thing, of those 50 million stockholders, it seems pretty likely that a small fraction of those stockholders own more a lot more stocks than average, and that a large fraction of those stockholders own a lot less than average.

    Finally, why would they cut a check? The value of the stock includes the value of the cash....

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      Not only does the value of the stock include the value of the cash, but most of these large companies do cut checks, in the form of stock dividends.

      You don't get $20k at once but with enough stock over long enough period of time you certainly could.

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