Floyd Norris mentions a wild data point:
“Over the last four years, since the buyback boom began, from the fourth quarter of 2004 through the third quarter of 2008, companies in the S.&P. 500 showed:
Reported earnings: $2.42 trillion
Stock buybacks: $1.73 trillion
Dividends: $0.91 trillion”
Geez, did these guys really spend every dime they made in profits on stock buybacks and divvies? That doesn’t really leave a lot of money to go back into R&D, new product development, are anything else innovative.
December 10, 2008, 11:31 AM