A Study in Contrast: Apple and Spain

 | Jun 11, 2012 | 12:27 PM EDT  | Comments
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Here's a contrast and a sign of the times: Consider the case of Apple (AAPL) vs. Spain.

This weekend, we got a huge save for Spanish banks. They got $125 billion in new capital to help them keep the doors open so the money doesn't leave.

Today we had Apple trying to fight people off and keep the throngs happy as they wait for the doors to open for its amazing app developers' extravaganza.

That's right, one entity is trying to stop disorderly lines from disgruntled savers to take capital out, and the other is trying to maintain order among rapturous Apple fans who want in!

Spain is broke and in a recession, trying to stop a depression. Apple has more capital than it knows what to do with.

Spain's leadership is nonexistent, one minute saying no bailout is necessary and the next minute begging for $125 billion to keep its banks afloat. There's no plan whatsoever to grow.

Apple has new fresh and wide-open leadership with a million ideas on how to grow, including from people they don't pay to develop amazing applications that are loved by users.

Apple is trying to figure out how to improve every aspect of its product line while at the same time rolling out exciting devices such as iTV.

But there's one thing that they have in common. Both Spain and Apple can bring down everyone in their wake except for themselves.

Spain gets the money, and it saves Spain for the moment, but it does nothing to help all of the other countries that now have to pony up in one form or another to bail out horribly reckless banking institutions. Spain wins, for now, and everyone else loses.

Apple is the same way. The more Apple innovates, the more developers flock to it, the more you want to use Apples and not anything else. Apple solidifies its lead in iPads. Apple makes its iPhones even more competitive for the other guys. Plus, Apple is going away from Google's (GOOG) map business, which shows that Apple doesn't want to pay anyone else in the Valley for non-proprietary software. It will make the software. The other guys don't have the remarkable Siri device that helps you organize your life. I use it constantly to find things and to remember to do regular chores that I would otherwise forget.

So what does Apple do at this developers' conference? How about make Siri better?

Now, I am not being facetious here. I am simply pointing out that at this stage in capitalism, nations are being revealed as rogue spenders of money they don't have and as protectors of a regime that can only lead to further shrinking of their economies. The people loathe their governments.

Apple on the other hand is a rock-solid entity, well-funded, better than any country on earth, with built-in sustainable growth and legions of fans who have faith in the company and in its new leadership. The contrast reminds us that corporate America is as refreshing, enriching and positive as sovereign Spain is tired, old and just plain broke.

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