It’s only the second time in history that a public company has been worth that much money. The other one was Apple.
What it means: Being worth $1 trillion doesn’t mean Amazon has that many dollar bills lying around in a vault somewhere. (Which is just as well, because that pile would be over 1,000km high.) Instead, it’s how much all the company’s shares are worth put together. Owning a share means you own a bit of the company. So if you wanted to buy Amazon outright, you better be a trillionaire.
Amazon’s shares are worth so much because lots of people think the company is about to make bucketloads of money. (Shareholders get part of a company’s profits.) That kinda makes sense if you think about how popular Amazon is and how many people buy stuff from it. Amazon is also one of the big sellers of cloud computing software, which is big business now half of us are living in the clouds (the digital ones).
But Amazon probably won’t get to keep its trillion-dollar crown for long. That’s because it’s pissed off a lot of powerful people, including the President of the United States (aka Trumpington), by not paying much tax and/or not giving its employees high wages. It’s likely Amazon is about to get clobbered with a bunch of fines and regulations. That means it’ll have less money to divvy up among shareholders, making its shares less valuable.
It’s not just about what you do, it’s where you do it. Workplaces can create and cut jobs, borrow money and interact with the financial market, and buy and sell products from other workplaces, affecting their financial situations. There’s also the question of whether our workplaces should be taking care of us, or whether that’s the government’s job…