Wondering how the stock market has climbed so high in the past six years, while the economy sits in the tank? Think low interest, leading to a gusher of borrowed money by corporations (bonds), who are turning around to buy back shares. Bingo. Add margin debt and the generosity of the Fed and here we are. In the past 12 months, companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 have doled out nearly $1 trillion to shareholders in the form of both dividends and stock buybacks, the highest level since 2007. For years, hedge fund managers have been big proponents of share buybacks, even actively advocating for it. Now, though, they are viewing them with a more critical eye, says Sarah Max writing for Barrons. Worse yet, a handful of well known companies have borrowed over a trillion dollars in the first nine months of 2015--more than the U.S. deficit--and used the money to buy back shares in an attempt to boost their share price or make their slide look less discouraging. QualComm was one of them.Steve and Sinclair review a timely article by Sarah Max of Barrons on the subject. In the Q & A, Steve answers some hard questions on annuities and income planning.