Telecom and oil companies top ‘Investment Heroes’ list

AT&T, Exxon Mobil and Wal-Mart are leaders among a top 25 list of corporations still investing within U.S. borders, according to a new study from a progressive think tank.

These “Investment Heroes,” according to the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), continue to invest domestically in buildings, equipment and software — something most companies have slowed or stopped throughout the lackluster economic recovery. However, telecom and energy companies, which are ubiquitous on the list, are still building broadband infrastructure to keep up with demand and are investing in the discovery of new sources of oil and gas.

The report’s authors, PPI economists Diana Carew and Michael Mandel, have no misconceptions that these companies are doing everything right — they are often criticized for environmental issues, privacy concerns and low tax rates, among other things — but want to point out the positive impact these companies are having when it comes to creating jobs and growth through their domestic investment.

And while many corporations suggest they are investing overseas to maintain their success and profitability, Carew and Mandel aren’t buying it. They say there is a reciprocal relationship between investing within the United States and business success.

“The fact that telecom and energy companies find it the most financially worthwhile to invest large volumes in America is quite telling about which sectors are doing well,” according to the report. “Telecom companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are making huge investments in broadband infrastructure.”


Those left off the list include financial companies (because they don’t disclose capital expenditures) and non-U.S. based companies (because of comparability issues). The report also notes that there are many other companies making investments and that this is only the top 25.

Download “Investment Heroes: Who’s Betting on America’s Future?” at PPI.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He blogs and hosts a podcast at governmentality.net and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.

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