Equity holders are brave investors who abandon their capital forever (unless they find a third party in the marketplace to replace them, which is never guaranteed) against a flow of uncertain future dividends. Companies, therefore, must distribute dividends, and they can only do so in two ways: they either pay dividends on capital if earnings are sufficient, or they pay dividends off capital.
The worse of the two is the latter and leads to capital destruction. So, who is responsible? The most influential macro factor on portfolio construction for long-term investors, today on the verge of resurfacing: inflation.