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While Stocks Last - Reflections on the share buyback debate

9th September 2019

Author: Andrew McNally

 

In US financial and political circles, the virtue of companies buying back their own shares is a subject of hot debate. While Democratic presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, say that curtailing them would be a crucial step in reducing inequality and increasing investment, the evidence is far from clear.

When it comes to the stock market, buybacks present investors with a dilemma – at the current rate, logically speaking, the US stock market would have been fully privatised by 2050, leaving investors with no choice but to buy while stocks last.

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