Why isn’t Apple AAAA?

August 8, 2011, 4:22 PM UTC

Bank of America’s market cap hit $70 billion Monday. Apple could buy it with cash.

In the wake of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. government securities — from AAA to AA+ — Apple’s (AAPL) shares are getting pummeled along with the rest of the market.

But after the subprime mortgage debacle and the debt ceiling circus, it’s worth remembering that this is a company whose profits last quarter grew 125% year over year and that at one point last month had more money in the bank than the Federal government. As of June 25, Apple’s holdings in cash and marketable securities stood at $76.2 billion.

That’s enough to buy Bank of America (BAC) outright and still have more than $6 billion left over.

Not that Steve Jobs or Tim Cook would ever do anything that foolish.