How Will Buybacks Transfer Value from Government to Shareholders in 2020?

COVID-19 stimulus proposals has revived the stock buyback debate. A week later Congress continues to remain locked ( as of 3/23/2020, 8 AM EST) in acrimonious debate on details of a proposed trillion-dollar stimulus package; meanwhile these funds are critical and urgently needed. The contentious issues being prohibiting excess executive compensation and restricting corporate bailout capital injection from being used for shares buyback. While the former is intuitively obvious, the effects of the latter less so.

I support the push for a ban on share buybacks as a condition of any financial assistance. To bring clarity, we explain how share repurchases will be an egregious transfer of economic rents from the US tax payer to corporate shareholders without benefiting the economy in this visual.


Author: Sameer_Jain

Partner. Sameer Jain is founder of FinTech, the world’s first portal that seamlessly integrates traditional, illiquid and alternative investments within portfolios. Prior to this he was Chief Economist & Managing Director at AR Capital. Before that he headed Investment Content & Strategy at UBS Alternative Investments. At UBS, he served as a non-voting member of the Wealth Management Research investment committee, and as a capital allocator was responsible for all illiquid investing including fund manager selection and due diligence across the platform. Prior to UBS he headed product development & investment research at Citigroup Alternative Investments that managed over $75 billion of alternative investments across hedge funds, managed futures, private equity, credit structures, infrastructure and real estate. Here he led a team that developed proprietary models for portfolio strategy and asset allocation with alternative investments, provided investment support and research to pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments as well as internal clients including Citi Private Bank. Before this he was with Cambridge Alternative Investments and SunGard (System Access) where he travelled to over 80 countries for work across Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa. He has written over 30 academic and practitioner articles on alternative investments with thousands of downloads at SSRN, presented at over a hundred industry conferences and has coauthored a book, Active Equity Management. Mr. Jain has multiple degrees in engineering, management, public administration and policy and is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He is a recipient of the Alfred Sloan Fellowship and subsequently was a Fellow of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for a year. He holds Series 7 and 66 securities licenses.

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