"stock buybacks"

Trump's top economic advisor asks CEOs to raise hands if they're going to use tax cuts to invest, boggled by no one raising hands

Gary Cohn is Donald Trump's top economic advisor; while on stage this week at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council meeting, he called for a show of hands from CEOs who were planning to invest more if their tax bills were slashed in the new GOP tax plan. Read the rest

Watson for Oncology isn't an AI that fights cancer, it's an unproven mechanical turk that represents the guesses of a small group of doctors

There are 50 hospitals on 5 continents that use Watson for Oncology, an IBM product that charges doctors to ingest their cancer patients' records and then make treatment recommendations and suggest journal articles for further reading. Read the rest

How to agree with something Trump does without endorsing trumpism

When Donald Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a "trade deal" that had been negotiated by representatives of multinational corporations and government bureaucrats in utmost secrecy in order to give corporations the power to decide which labor, environmental and safety laws they'd obey, I started to hear from "progressives" who had suddenly discovered the deal, and decided that if Trump was against it, they should be for it. Read the rest

Tim Cook confirms: tech met with Trump to ask for billions in tax breaks

A leaked memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook to his staff explaining why he met with Donald Trump -- a guy who called Apple traitors for refusing to defeat their own security -- explains the rationale: "tax reform." Read the rest

Companies' self-devouring buyback spree is finally slowing down

Stock buybacks are the preferred form of financial engineering in corporate America, through which companies borrow like crazy and give the money to their shareholders, artificially increasing their earnings-per-share ratio, massively reducing real economic growth, while enriching a tiny number of already-wealthy investors: but buybacks may finally be coming to an end. Read the rest

Giving companies more money (loans, tax-breaks) only increases investor payouts, not expansion

Before the deregulation bonanza of the 1980s, corporations were expected to use debt and the public markets as the capital of last resort: they would pay "normal" dividends, then use the left over money to increase pay and fund expansion; but after the birth of "shareholder management," companies have acted like homeowners before the financial crisis: borrowing heavily to pay investors, at the expense of expansion and wages -- but unlike homeowners, corporate management gets to duck the bill when it comes due. Read the rest

America's CEOs and hedge funds are starving the nation's corporations to death

Stock buybacks (previously) allow CEOs to drive up the company's share-price by using profits to buy shares back from investors, rather than investing the money in wages, R&D, capital or expansion. Read the rest

American businesses devour themselves to enrich the 1%

A Goldman Sachs report on stock buybacks shows a suspicious clustering in the fourth quarter, just when management bonuses are being calculated. Read the rest

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