(Dec 27): Is it good or bad that US corporations are buying back their own shares? It is an important question, because buybacks have become the preferred way for companies to disgorge cash to shareholders. In 2018, Standard & Poor’s 500 companies bought back a record US$806 billion ($1 trillion) worth of shares, a 55% leap from the year before. They are on track to buy back about US$740 billion worth this year, the second most ever, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt.

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