For the first time in its history, the United States last week lost its AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor, an internationally recognised credit rating organisation.
The U.S. government's ability to handle the recent threat to default is one of many reasons why the credit agency lowered its rating to AA+, putting the United States below the United Kingdom, Germany, France and sixteen other countries.
Yet, Microsoft is one of four U.S. based companies which still holds onto its AAA rating, with the exception of some financial and government institutions, despite the government's lack of ability in holding onto its own.
In 2008, Standard and Poor gave Microsoft the highest status for credit rating, beating other high profile companies like Apple, Google and Amazon.
On the other hand, last week it was revealed that Apple -- the company behind the Mac and the world famous iPod line -- had more cash and marketable securities in reserve than the U.S. government, as the debt crisis escalated.
Apple was said to have had $76.4 billion, while at the time, the U.S. government had just shy of that, with an operating cash balance of $73.7 billion.
Apple's reserves would have been "enough to buy Goldman Sachs or Facebook", hypothesised The Atlantic.
For now, though Standard and Poor has downgraded the U.S.' credit rating, two other credit rating agencies still classify the economy in AAA status -- at least, for now.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate eventually passed the new laws, allowing the government to raise the debt ceiling to pay its bills on time.
Other companies still with AAA rating include Exxon Mobile, Johnson & Johnson, and Automatic Data Processing.
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- Video: S&P head details U.S. credit rating downgrade
- Putting U.S. debt downgrade in perspective