No Free Lunch 

Corporate cannibalism

Paul Jackson

Corporate cannibalism

The practice used to be illegal. With distrust of business running high, last January the government commissioned research to assess how many companies buy back their own shares and why they do it. The conspiracy theory is that buybacks are custom-designed to inflate senior executive pay.  Could financial engineering be their real purpose? Business secretary Greg Clark said that the review would not only “examine how [they] are used” but also “whether any action is required to prevent them from being abused”. Much ado about nothing? Or is there substance to the claims?

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