Especially in recent years when companies borrow money at essentially zero to largely finance buy backs. Not to mention its a shell game to reduce the float to help EPS if one isn't looking real close. The way the market should work is working capital should be going to investment or even debt for direct investment isn't horrible, debt used to purchase stock is almost criminal. As Nader points out that debt lives on well past any temporarily "bumb" a buy back would provide, however buy backs essentially provide a floor for a stock as is almost always the case they are used around a "number" that isn't made public but is what occurs in reality.
Nader has a very limited understanding of the stock market as he says " What could competent management have done with this treasure trove of shareholder money which came originally from consumer purchases". Well Mr Nader, only shares sold at initial public offerings go to the company, everything else is between a buyer and seller. Having a general understanding of finance is always helpful in your rant.