The coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc in 2021, with the Omicron and Delta variants, supply chain disruptions, and inflation battering the global working class. In the United States, companies continued to put profits before worker well-being while the Biden administration refused to provide relief like continuing the child tax credit. Amid much bad news for workers last year emerged a key victor: wealthy shareholders.
Share buybacks hit a record high last year. Companies in the S&P 500 — a market index which tracks the stock prices of 500 leading U.S. companies — repurchased shares worth over $245 billion in the third quarter alone. These exorbitant buybacks helped U.S. stock market indices reach record peaks: the S&P 500 broke 67 records in 2021 and increased its value by 25 percent.Continue reading