Fortune

DECISION TIME

IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2007, at the summit of the last bull market, U.S. companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 purchased a staggering $172 billion worth of their own stock. Some two years later, when those same shares were priced like week-old biscuits, CEOs couldn’t find a bargain worth snatching—at least when it came to their own stocks.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Fortune

Fortune14 min read
The Last Boys’ Club
A decade ago, a cadre of women seemed poised to claim the title as the first female CEO of a Wall Street bank. It never happened. Why not? And more important, will it ever?
Fortune4 min readTech
VCs CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF DIRECT LISTINGS
Venture capitalists are trying to push the IPO alternative as a better way for startups to go public.
Fortune11 min read
How Starbucks Got Its Buzz Back
The world’s largest coffee chain supercharged sales, survived a PR nightmare, and navigated the departure of its iconic founder. The secret weapon powering Starbucks’ renaissance? Retail hotshot Roz Brewer.