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Apple Versus the FBI: Is It All About Money?

Science fiction writer Charles Stross, whose novels often turn on issues of economics and trade, looks at Apple’s current legal conflict with the FBI through an economic lens. He notes that Apple’s enormous pile of cash puts it into a position similar to that experienced by General Motors last century, when its enormous pension fund led the auto maker to become “an insurance company with a car-manufacturing subsidiary.” Stross suggests that Apple’s push for greater customer security is tied to Apple Pay and the company’s possible long-term strategy to use its cash hoard to create “a retail banking subsidiary to provide financial services directly.” Whether or not you can take that speculation to the bank, it is worth investing some time in reading Stross’s analysis.

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