Treasury shares are an anomaly, since it has thus far appeared that they have been subjected to a doctrine of expediency, a doctrine of ascertaining their position and consequences only from the point of view of the specific problem at hand. They are assets for one purpose, but not assets for another. They are treated as existing for one purpose, but nonexistent for another. They appear, reappear and disappear. They have a fluidity which is uncommon in corporate law, where certainty, precision and definiteness are the keynotes. Because they offer to a corporation a singularly tempting opportunity to represent the corporation's financial status in any way the directors may desire, for this reason creditors and stockholders must carefully scrutinize any transactions involving them.
Harry Kotler, Treasury Stock; A Corporate Anomaly, 1(2) Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 9 (1952)