If we consider the recent budget and bankruptcy debates of the U.S. government, this piece of news may not be that surprising, but it is a testament to the enormous stockpile of monetary resources Apple has at its disposal. According to Business Insider, the U.S. had an operating cash balance of $73.8 billion as of yesterday, while Apple's war chest including cash and marketable securities is at $76.2 billion.
"In other words, the world's largest tech company has more cash than the world's largest sovereign government," Business Insider wrote. Of course, there will be a question what Apple will do with its wealth - whether it will return some of the money to investors (unlikely), whether it will buy Barnes & Noble as pointed out by BGR (even less likely), whether it will invest it in its own resources to expand its business range to include more products such as TVs (likely) or simply let the money sit and use it when it needs to (also likely.)
In comparison, Microsoft currently has $58.8 billion in cash available, Google has about $39.1 billion in the bank, IBM $11.7 billion, HP $12.7 billion and AT&T $3.8 billion.