Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban told CNBC on Wednesday that companies that get federal assistance in response to the coronavirus crisis should be prevented from buying back stock ever again.
“No buybacks. Not now. Not a year from now. Not 20 years from now. Not ever,” Cuban said on “Squawk Box.” “Because effectively you’re spending taxpayer money to buyback stock and to me that’s just the wrong way to do that.”
He also said, “Whatever we do in a bail out make sure that every worker is compensated and treated equally — in that the executives don’t get rewarded extra to stick around because they got nowhere else to go.”
On Tuesday, Cuban first argued that any assistance must be designed to reduce inequality between executives and workers. “If we are going to bailout companies we need to make sure all employees benefit from a turnaround, not just execs,” Cuban said on Twitter.
Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, said he thought any mechanisms of executive compensation — such as equity or re-pricing existing stock options — should only be allowed if they are offered to all workers.
Cuban’s appearance Wednesday comes one week after the NBA indefinitely suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19.
Cuban said last week that he “obviously was stunned” by the decision to pause the season, but agreed it was the right decision. He said he has urged Mavericks players to take social distancing efforts seriously.
Cuban also said he was putting together a program to ensure the Mavericks’ hourly employees who cannot work due to the suspension of games.