"That Google's got something unique on:
They have cash by the score,
Yet still borrow more;
This is something I've puzzled all week on."
Said an expert in cross-border taxes,
"I should hope the professor relaxes;
As Google keeps cash
In an overseas stash,
'Til taxation here wanes and not waxes."
Professor Greg Mankiw, who teaches economics at Harvard and writes America's best-selling textbooks on the topic, wondered in his blog about the apparent contradiction of Google's borrowing money at long-term rates, when they already have $37 billion in cash idling at short-term rates close to zero. Proving that smart people attract smart blog followers, Prof. Mankiw quotes a reader who responds that Google is "intertemporally arbitrag[ing] the U.S. tax code. By not repatriating the $37 billion now, they are betting that the U.S. corporate tax rate on repatriated foreign profits will be appreciably lower in the future."