And don’t buy into Dimon’s Brooklyn Bridge…
The CEO of America’s largest bank made a startling announcement last week: His company has too much money, and he plans to throw away its profits on rich people.
He didn’t quite put it that way, of course. In his annual letter to shareholders, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon boasted about his company buying $25.7 billion of its own stock over the past five years, and hinted it could buy back another “big block of stock this year” to further boost share prices.
At their best, stock buybacks (also known as “share repurchases”) are essentially pointless. At their worst, buybacks drain resources from productive economic activity to provide a cheap high for Wall Street. Companies buy their own stock to raise the stock price: Removing shares from the market elevates the value of those that remain. Money is funneled from corporate coffers to shareholders.