All hail our new Apple overlords

You don’t need to know exact iPhone or iPod sales to know Apple has a lot of money. Even the least economically focused person on earth knows the company is rich. But the comparisons are just staggering. Steve-jobs-staring

Prior to the debt ceiling being raised, there was a lot of media attention surrounding the fact that the company had a higher cash balance than the U.S. government – with $76.2 billion in hand vs. the government’s $73.8 billion. Now it’s aiming higher.

CNBC reports that thanks to recent stock fluctuations, the tech company is now worth as much as Europe’s 32 biggest banks – combined.

The financial institutions, which include Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Italy’s Unicredit, had a total market capitalization of $340 billion – the same as Apple’s.

Of course, none of this is permanent (well, let’s hope not!). And the ties to the entertainment world are pretty loose (though Apple certainly wouldn’t be in this position if it hadn’t made a major shift into the entertainment space 10 years ago). Still, it’s a good illustrative point of how powerful the company has become in a short period of time.

And it sure makes you wish you’d invested in Apple in the late 1980s, when the stock hovered between $2 and $11 per share.