Clearly many of these companies doing buybacks are at least thinking about becoming private companies, or at least relying less on the public markets. For many reasons - not the least the extra cost of regulation of public companies and the instability of the stock market.
I believe we'll see more and more companies go completely private - no shares sold to the public - as they try to get away from the gov't and from the stock market.
They will need capital, obviously, but that won't be too hard to get - there is a gigantic flood of cash everywhere looking for a home. That's why bond yields are so low - there is just so much money around.
So...if I am right that there will be many companies going private...you want to own shares, because companies will be a buyer, as will hedge funds anticipating lveraged buyouts and the like.