Our Weird New Math-Econ-Finance World
We live in a weird math-econ-finance world with so many years of low interest rates. Here is my take on dividend and share buy-backs.
In the article’s chart, cash returned, 2004-8 was from solid growth in sales-output-profits.
But cash returned, 2010-16 was due (how much?) to arbitraging the difference between the borrowing rate and the return on your own stock! For example Apple’s debt went from zero to 52 billion, 2012-2015, as it was buying back shares. And over at the Federal Reserve the banks are being paid not to lend their reserves!
We call it finance, but it’s just moving the money around as we idle our engines awaiting recovery of the real economy. We need corporate money coming in from product sales-output-profits to fuel the return of productively earned cash to shareholders.
Dr. Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. Dr. Smith has joint appointments with the Argyros School of Business & Economics and the School of Law, and he is part of a team that will create and run the new Economic Science Institute at Chapman.
Dr. Smith has authored or co-authored more than 250 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics. He serves or has served on the board of editors of the American Economic Review, The Cato Journal, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Science, Economic Theory, Economic Design, Games and Economic Behavior, and the Journal of Economic Methodology. He is past president of the Public Choice Society, the Economic Science Association, the Western Economic Association and the Association for Private Enterprise Education. Previous faculty appointments include the University of Arizona, Purdue University, Brown University, the University of Massachusetts, and George Mason University, where he was a Professor of Economics and Law prior to joining the faculty at Chapman University. Dr. Smith has been a Ford Foundation Fellow, Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology.
In 1991, the Cambridge University Press published Dr. Smith’s Papers in Experimental Economics, and in 2000, a second collection of more recent papers, Bargaining and Market Behavior. Cambridge published his Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms in January 2008. Dr. Smith has received an honorary Doctor of Management degree from Purdue University, and is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Smith is a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association, an Andersen Consulting Professor of the Year, and the 1995 Adam Smith Award recipient conferred by the Association for Private Enterprise Education. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1995, and received CalTech’s distinguished alumni award in 1996. He has served as a consultant on the privatization of electric power in Australia and New Zealand and participated in numerous private and public discussions of energy deregulation in the United States. In 1997 he served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Member, National Electric Reliability Council.
Dr. Smith completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, his master’s degree in economics at the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.