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Finding the way forward when growth stalls

Bain estimates that a billion new consumers will join the global middle class over the next several years, adding some US$10 trillion to world GDP. The primary goods sector - food, water and energy - is likely to add another US$3 trillion.

MANY management teams these days find themselves in intense debates over a pressing question. There is a lot of cash on the company's balance sheet right now. Should we buy back some of our shares or should we invest in growth?

Share buybacks have an obvious appeal and an obvious...

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