GM’s Stock Buyback Is Bad for America and the Company

By William Lazonick and Matt Hopkins - General Motors’ announcement that it will settle a fight with activist shareholders by buying back $5 billion in stock over the coming 21 months is a major loss for American taxpayers and GM’s workers. The investors’ leader, Harry J. Wilson, called the deal a ”win-win outcome.” But the only real wins are a victory for the hedge […]

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Want a healthy middle class? Bring back the long-term career.

By Lynn Parramore – It’s time to start thinking about revitalizing the long-term career if we don’t want its partner, the middle class, to vanish into thin air. In an age of galloping inequality, it’s worth remembering that middle-class people, rather than the rich, lead the way to growth and prosperity. They do this through […]

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How Superstar Companies Like Apple Are Killing America’s High-Tech Future

By Lynn Parramore – Few would argue that America’s fortunes rise and fall on its ability to put ideas to work and then bring them to market. William Lazonick, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Matt Hopkins, research associate at the Academic-Industry Research Network, have investigated what has gone wrong in America’s approach […]

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​Numbers Show Apple Shareholders Have Already Gotten Plenty

By William Lazonick – Carl Icahn is at it again. On Oct. 9, armed with about 1% of Apple’s outstanding stock, the hedge-fund activist published an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, urging him to accelerate the company’s stock repurchases by making a tender offer. I hope Cook doesn’t listen, because I think it would be bad […]

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Investing in the future

By Mary Adams – There’s a fascinating “Room for Debate” discussion at the NYTimes entitled Profiting Profits or Reinvesting Them  with the prompt: Corporations have gone from reinvesting about 90 percent of their profits into their business in the 1970s, to about 10 percent today, William Lazonick wrote in a recent Harvard Business Review article. Profits […]

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The Dirty Little Secret of How CEOs Enrich Themselves at Your Expense

By Lynn Stuart Parramore - Stock buybacks take money from your pocket and put it into the hands of corporate titans. Everyone from Warren Buffett to Robert Reich is talking about a favorite Wall Street trick called stock buybacks. But what are they and what do they mean to you? William Lazonick is a leading expert on the history of the American […]

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Hobby Lobby hobbles worker voice

Editor’s Note: Who gets to speak for a corporation — the company management or the workers? Christopher Mackin, an employee-ownership adviser since 1977, sees management too often calling the shots for workers denied a voice in decisions that affect them. The Supreme Court’s recent decision that Hobby Lobby’s owners don’t have to pay for their employees’ or their dependents’ […]

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