By Steven Davidoff Solomon (originally published by The New York Times) – General Motors’ announcement that it will buy back $5 billion worth of stock raises the question of whether the stock buyback has turned into a shareholder activist shakedown. G.M. did not open its coffers willingly. Harry J. Wilson, a former member of the auto industry crisis task force led by Steven Rattner, gave it a helping hand. A few weeks ago, Mr. Wilson announced a campaign to press G.M. to buy back $8 billion worth of stock, leading four hedge funds with a total stake of about 2 percent in the automaker. As part of this, Mr. Wilson was nominated to run for a board seat….
[Cross-posted from The New York Times publication of March 18, 2015