By David Faber, CNBC Anchor and Reporter
NEW YORK (
) -- A report Tuesday from accounting analysts at
seems to put a reliable number on the amount of cash that U.S. corporations hold in their foreign subsidiaries, and it's a doozy.
Of the 880 companies that JP Morgan reviewed (using thousands of 10(k)s from the past eight years), it found 519 companies have a collective $1.375 trillion in undistributed foreign earnings.
That number now seems destined to find its way into the ongoing debate about whether a "tax holiday" should be declared for those corporations that choose to bring some of the cash back to our shores and use it to create jobs.
The JP Morgan researchers weigh in on the subject of repatriation and conclude that even in the unlikely event such a tax holiday is created -- it's opposed by the Obama administration -- while there is a House bill on the matter, there is no companion legislation in the Senate -- it would not result in a flood of repatriation. This is largely because much of the over $1 trillion worth of undistributed earnings overseas will likely be reinvested across the pond.
, a part owner of CNBC, only repatriated $1.2 billion of an estimated $37 billion it held overseas the last time such a tax advantaged repatriation was available, in 2005.
Now, GE finds itself with $94 billion overseas, the largest single sum for a U.S. corporation, and the report's authors assume that given the low percentage of past repatriation, most of that money would remain overseas.
-- Written by David Faber of CNBC