Bankers need to put their money to work, President Obama says. On Sunday, he said that the “fat cat bankers,” a safe expression to use when appealing to Middle America, “still don’t get it.” So, he’s pushing them to make more loans and accept the fact that regulation is coming.
A report in the Wall Street Journal today found that American companies are hoarding cash, ostensibly while waiting for that proverbial rainy day. In an analysis of company filings, it learned that the 500 largest non-financial companies in the country held $994 billion at the end of the second quarter in cash and cash equivalents, amounting to 9.8 percent of their total assets. A year earlier, they had only $846 billion (7.9 percent) in this category.
And, it looks like this is continuing into Q3. Of the 248 companies that have reported so far, cash holdings are up to 11.1 percent of assets quarter over quarter.
The Chinese government is committing $1.32 billion to launch venture capital funds jointly with several of its provinces, according to a Reuters report. Private investors will also be involved in the effort, the purpose of which is to bolster the growth of the high-tech sector across China. Specific sectors that will benefit include information technology, energy, pharma and environmental.
China isn’t spending all its money in one place. Rather, it’s spreading the cash across 20 venture capital funds. One billion yuan (slightly more than 10% of the capital) will come from the Chinese government, with 1.2 billion yuan coming from the local governments. The rest is being kicked in by the private sector.
Demonstrating a profound commitment to dead trees and bookstores, Penguin is releasing Twiterature: The World’s Greatest Books Retold Through Twitter. The book consists of comments on the works of William Shakespeare and other classics. University of Chicago students Emmett Rensin and Alexander Aciman are the book’s authors tweeters, sharing their irreverent and profane – and sometimes insightful – 140 character-or-less thoughts on the playwright known to anyone who’s completed at least a year of high school.