Aug 16, 2021 - Economy

Big businesses have record levels of cash

Corporations' cash pile
Data: S&P Global; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Companies are still sitting on record levels of cash.

By the numbers: At the end of Q2 2021, companies rated by S&P Global held about $6.8 trillion in cash. That's 45% higher than the average in the five years preceding the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports.

What happened: At the outset of the pandemic, most companies scaled back on investments, dividends and share buybacks — while also taking on record levels of debt.

But, but, but: For another perspective, S&P separately looked at U.S. companies' ratio of cash to debt — a common relative measure of a company's cash buffer. That ratio has receded from peak levels.

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