Falling interests in the last decade drove up stock valuations on account of stock repurchases and dividend payouts. Investors, and particularly the rising proportion of risk averse senior citizens, favor stock appreciation immediately over capital spending that may pay off only in the future.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2016, C2
Implications: A reduction in business investment in favor of financial manipulation (e.g. share repurchases) and dividends indicates an economy that is in process of liquidation.