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Matt Levine

Senators Are Worried About Stock Buybacks

Also direct listings, lynxes, romance and bond market liquidity.

Here are Senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders in the New York Times with, mostly, the usual arguments about why stock buybacks are bad:

There are two strands of argument here. One is that the capitalists are wrong about their own interests, that companies that spend money on stock buybacks instead of on research and development will be less profitable in the long term. I think you should be very skeptical of this argument, if for nothing else then on efficient-markets grounds: When the actual shareholders of a company, with their own money on the line, want the company to do one thing, and Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer want it to do something else, it is hard for me to believe that Sanders and Schumer are the ones who are maximizing long-term shareholder value.