Some of the biggest winners from President Donald Trump’s new tax law are corporate executives who have reaped gains as their companies buy back a record amount of stock, a practice that rewards shareholders by boosting the value of existing shares.
A POLITICO review of data disclosed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows the executives, who often receive most of their compensation in stock, have been profiting handsomely by selling shares since Trump signed the law on Dec. 22 and slashed corporate tax rates to 21 percent. That trend is likely to increase, as Wall Street analysts expect buyback activity to accelerate in the coming weeks.
“It is going to be a parade of eye-popping numbers,” said Pat McGurn, the head of strategic research and analysis at Institutional Shareholder Services, a shareholder advisory firm.
That could undercut the political messaging value of the tax cuts in the Republican campaign to maintain control of Congress in the midterm elections.
Since the tax cuts were enacted, Oracle Corp. CEO Safra Catz has sold $250 million worth of shares in her company — the largest executive payday this year. Product development head Thomas Kurian sold $85 million. The sales came after the company announced a $12 billion share repurchase.
I know I am amazed that returning to the Gilded Age economy hasn’t led to corporations giving workers huge raises and benefit increases.