Buybacks And Dividends Are Expected to Blow Past $1 Trillion

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Good news if you're among the richest Americans who actually own a significant amount of stock.

Corporate America's tax cut-fueled buybacks and dividend payments have already approached the $1 trillion mark and are set to blow far past that during what remains of the current fiscal year.

After buybacks among S&P 500 Index members hit a record in the first quarter and more than a third of the index raised dividend payments, corporations have returned $992 billion to shareholders in the past 12 months. At the current rate, 2018 will mark the first year that corporate America showers investors with more than $1 trillion. [...]

According to Gallup poll published last year, nine out of 10 families with annual income higher than $100,000 own stocks, compared with a ratio of 1-in-5 for those earning less than $30,000 a year. While equities have added $22 trillion in value since 2009, wages stagnated and workers’ share of business income remained near record lows.

I don't think it would be a coincidence if buybacks and dividends for the current fiscal year reach $1.5 trillion; the same amount as the GOP's tax cuts. I think that would be obvious.

Corporations have front-loaded everything the GOP handed to them in the event that a future Congress or president takes it away. The music is going to stop at some point and rich shareholders already have a chair reserved.

It should go without saying, but $1 trillion spent on buybacks and dividends is $1 trillion they chose not to invest in new business and workers. Republicans claimed the money would be invested, but that was bullshit of course.

  • Aynwrong

    The only “reinvestment” these corporations will engage in is to Republican campaign coffers. And why shouldn’t they? They got one hell of a return.

    * Brought to us by a generation of suckers. *

  • simpfan

    I’m sure this money will trickle down to us any moment now. Aaaaany moment now.

    • muselet

      Clap harder! Clap harder!


  • Yep. The $1 trillion will go into their Scrooge McDuck coin vaults so they can swim around in it. It sure as hell won’t go to new investment because if they wanted to invest in new stuff, they already could. A large chunk of that money was just taken out of the economy.