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Therefore, the return on capital equation is a function of government and private sector actions, including end user demand. Taking a big picture view and the data on productivity, fixed investment and particularly the business variety, average age of corporate assets, share buy backs, dividend and special shareholder distributions amongst other items and it comes as no surprise that net private domestic investment as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product has fallen to a nearly 70-year low while net dividends or corporate cash distribution, on the same basis, has hit a more than 70-year high. It is said that history does not repeat, but it often rhymes. A similar mix of events occurred just prior to the great depression in 1929.

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