Goldman Sachs have suggested that Obama's new tax scheme could signal support for the low-tax repatriation of foreign profits.
The bank's comment team has listed 50 S&P500 companies with as much as $1.8 trillion (£1.2 trillion) invested overseas in 2012.
Here's the list of the companies with the most assets overseas, by Goldman's reckoning:
- General Electric $108bn
- Pfizer $73bn
- Microsoft $61bn
- Merck & Co $53bn
- Johnson & Johnson $49bn
- IBM $44bn
- Exxon Mobil $43bn
- Citigroup $43bn
- Cisco Systems $41bn
- Apple $41bn
These changes could be huge for the US. This year we saw Apple launch a record non-financial corporate bond issue, despite having huge cash piles offshore.
That's because it would be cheaper to pay interest on bonds than to repatriate that cash. A low-tax repatriation scheme could fix the mess and see firms using their cash stockpiles more effectively.