Banning Buybacks

From the collection Learn Economics at Home

Companies like Apple and Google make billions for rich investors by buying back their own stock—at the expense of workers, the public, and the planet.

Economist Bill Lazonick says it’s time to ban the stock buyback scam.


William Lazonick is co-author of the new book Predatory Value Extraction: How the Looting of the Business Corporation Became the US Norm and How Sustainable Prosperity Can Be Restored (Oxford University Press, 2019).

The book provides a critical analysis of corporate governance practices in the United States and their contribution to current economic challenges such as employment instability, income inequity, and secular stagnation. Lazonick and his co-author Jang-Sup Shin present a theory of innovative enterprise to explain the evolving relationship between value creation and value extraction. Predatory Value Extraction sets out a new agenda for combatting predatory value extraction and restoring sustainable prosperity.

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Special Thanks

INET sincerely thanks the Julis-Rabinowitz Family for their generous support, who named this series to honor the spirit of a great educator and economic thinker, Uwe Reinhardt.

For nearly 50 years, the late Uwe Reinhardt was a beloved economist and professor at Princeton University. Known best for helping to shape critical discourse around healthcare markets, his biting wit and intellect challenged students, colleagues, and policymakers alike to follow the data and to check all assumptions at the door.