Private equity investors buy up the stock of publicly-traded companies. Often (though not always) they buy the companies with borrowed money, and then load the debt onto the companies themselves. This is good for the investors, but not good for the companies and their employees. According to this chart, increasing numbers of private equity investors are making their companies borrow more money in order to pay themselves dividends. There is no way this can be good for the companies.
Hat tip for the chart to The Big Picture.