Big Business Starting to Spend Hoarded Cash…to Buy Back Own Stock, Not Create Jobs

Monday, October 11, 2010
Interested more in pleasing Wall Street than helping Main Street, some of the biggest American corporations are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to buy back their own stocks, rather than invest in new products or services that would mean hiring more people.
After sitting atop of more than $1 trillion in cash, much of it borrowed at near-zero interest rates from the Federal Reserve, big business is spending money on share buybacks, in order to satisfy investors. To date in 2010, companies have committed $273 billion towards purchasing their own stocks.
Last month, Microsoft borrowed $4.75 billion to buy back shares, while continuing to sit on nearly $37 billion in cash held in overseas operations. Hewlett-Packard plans to spend $10 billion buying its shares, and Pepsico intends to acquire $15 billion of its common stock over the next three years.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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