The debt to equity ratio measures the riskiness of a company’s financial structure. The ratio reveals the relative proportions of debt and equity financing that a business employs. It is closely monitored by lenders and creditors, since it can provide early warning that an organization is so overwhelmed by debt that it is unable to meet its payment obligations. This is also a funding issue. For example, the owners of a business may not want to contribute any more cash to the company, so they acquire more debt to address the cash shortfall. Or, a company may use debt to buy back shares, thereby increasing the return on investment to the remaining shareholders.