Short-term thinking in corporate America is strangling the economy - Vox: "According to Bloomberg, companies spent 95 percent of their earnings on such share buybacks and dividends in 2014. We are on pace to set the record this year, with $160 billion in share buybacks in just the first quarter of 2016 — all in the face of declining earnings. It’s fairly obvious that when cash is returned to investors at increasing rates, even when a company is earning less, that the money has to come from somewhere. That somewhere is usually long-term investment. Just as it is easy for individuals to put off saving for retirement when the rent comes due or to splurge on a weekend getaway, firms feel pressure to put off long-term investing to make shareholders happy in the short term by boosting stock price.
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