US Economy

Little room for manoeuvre in US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 May 2018

A letter signed by 32 Democrats stated that “America’s national security must not be signed away as bargaining chip in trade negotiations.”

Deals by unions to end US teacher strikes funded by regressive taxes, more budget cuts

By Nancy Hanover, 15 May 2018

The meager pay raises and funding increases in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, hailed as “victories” by the unions and their supporters, will be funded through new attacks on workers.

On eve of teachers’ protests in North Carolina and South Carolina

Profits, stock buybacks soar, but “no money” for wages or school books

By Niles Niemuth, 14 May 2018

The 500 largest corporations in the US will funnel more money into the pockets of wealthy investors than they will allocate for capital expenditures and research and development.

Detroit exits bankruptcy, but conditions remain bleak

By Helen Hayes, 9 May 2018

The federal courts and the state government are relinquishing direct control over city operations, entrusting further budget cuts and austerity measures to the administration of Democratic Mayor Mike Duggan.

Part of Trump tax bill bonanza for the wealthy

Apple hands out $102 billion to shareholders

By Patrick Martin, 3 May 2018

The iPhone and laptop maker is monetizing the Trump tax cut as a gigantic windfall for its executives and owners.

Trade talks in Beijing: China says it won’t back down to US

By Nick Beams, 3 May 2018

The conflict is over more than the trade deficit numbers, with the overriding concern of the US being China’s moves to develop its high-tech capacities.

T-Mobile and Sprint agree to $146 billion mega-merger

By Gabriel Black, 2 May 2018

The companies have presented the merger as a critical geopolitical move in the fight against China’s development of 5G.

Trump postpones steel tariffs but trade tensions increase

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2018

The European Commission said there was no basis for tariffs on “national security” grounds and it would not negotiate under threat.

US and China to hold trade talks as tariff deadline looms

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2018

Trump said there was a “very good chance of making a deal,” but if not, the US would impose “very substantial tariffs” on Chinese imports.

Rise in interest rates sparks panic on Wall Street

By Trévon Austin, 25 April 2018

A rise in working-class militancy would send the inflated share values into a precipitous decline.

US issues ultimatums to IMF on trade

By Nick Beams, 23 April 2018

Adopting the tone of an overlord, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin demanded that the IMF back Washington in its drive against what it claims are “unfair global trade practices.”

White House considers “national emergency” powers against Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 21 April 2018

Under a 1977 law, president Trump could declare a national emergency in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat” which would allow him to block transactions and even to seize assets.

IMF remains upbeat on global economy but trade conflicts sound a jarring note

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2018

The IMF chief economist said it seemed “paradoxical” that major economies were “flirting with trade war” at a time of economic expansion.

No money for teacher pay or textbooks, but…

US CEO pay, bank profits, corporate cash set new records

By Barry Grey, 18 April 2018

A series of reports released over the past week reveal that corporate America and the financial oligarchy are wallowing in record levels of wealth.

Trump to consider rejoining TPP to step up pressure on China

By Nick Beams, 14 April 2018

The apparent turnaround is motivated by two immediate considerations: the need to be seen as taking action to alleviate pressure on US farmers threatened by the China tariffs, and the search for international allies against China.

World economy in danger of being “torn apart”

By Nick Beams, 13 April 2018

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that as a result of easy financial conditions, global debt—public and private—has reached an all-time high of $164 trillion.

Report details massive growth of inequality worldwide

By Eric London, 10 April 2018

The report found that if inequality grows at its present rate, the world’s billionaires will eventually “own 100 percent of the world’s wealth.”

JPMorgan CEO threatens rate hikes to break wages movement by US workers

By Barry Grey, 7 April 2018

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned of rising wages and raised the possibility of a sharp rise in interest rates to put a brake on economic growth and drive up unemployment.

Trump steps up trade war with proposal for further tariffs on Chinese goods

By Nick Beams, 6 April 2018

The White House said the new directive was in response to the Chinese decision to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of American exports.

China imposes tariffs as trade war heats up

By Nick Beams, 3 April 2018

The Chinese moves appear to have had an impact on Wall Street, where the Dow was down by more than 450 points at end of yesterday.

The looming threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 29 March 2018

The volatility reflects the speculative character of the share market’s rise and the fears that a global trade war could puncture this bubble.

US threatens trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 23 March 2018

The Trump administration has drawn up a list of more than 1,000 products, and proposed investment bans, targeting 10 key Chinese industries.

Toys R Us announces liquidation amidst “Retail Apocalypse”

By Anthony Bertolt, 19 March 2018

The retail chain is in the process of shutting down its global operations, with the jobs of some 31,000 workers in the US alone set to be eliminated.

Senate Democrats join Republicans to gut Dodd-Frank banking regulations

By Tom Hall, 16 March 2018

The Democrats' support for the bill demonstrates that they are a party of the American financial aristocracy.

Trump vetoes takeover of Qualcomm

By Nick Beams, 15 March 2018

Trump’s intervention demonstrates that “America First” nationalism and “national security” invocations are coming to dominate his administration’s economic decisions.

US “allies” scramble for tariff exemptions

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2018

The European Union is “counting” on being exempted from the Trump tariff measures but may get short shrift.

Australian government obtains “national security” exemption from Trump’s trade war measures

By Mike Head, 10 March 2018

The government argued that retaining steel production in Australia was vital for its $200 billion military spending program.

Trump, risking trade war, signs off on steel and aluminium tariffs

By Nick Beams, 9 March 2018

Trump’s tariff announcement expresses the turn by the United States to the types of protectionist measures that characterised the 1930s Great Depression.

Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn resigns over tariff decision

By Niles Niemuth, 7 March 2018

Among those reportedly opposed to Trump’s trade war policy are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and retired Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense.

Canadian ruling elite reacts to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs

By Roger Jordan, 7 March 2018

Signaling the Canadian ruling elite’s readiness to support Washington in a trade war against China and other rivals, Ottawa is pleading for an exemption from Trump’s tariffs.

Parasitism and “tax reform”: Trump’s corporate tax cuts fuel stock buybacks, not investment

By Gabriel Black, 6 March 2018

Catalyst Capital predicts that 2018 will be the biggest stock buyback year on record, with corporations spending $1.2 trillion to push up their share values.

Trump launches trade war

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2018

In imposing a global tariff hike, rather than selective measures, Trump took the toughest option presented to him by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Fed’s concern over prospect of a wages movement jolts markets

By Nick Beams, 1 March 2018

One of the key aspects of Fed chief Powell’s question-time comments was his views on the “continuing strength in the labour market.”

The growing threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 24 February 2018

Two major initiatives by the Trump administration over the past month have ratcheted up global tensions, bringing the threat of retaliatory actions from the European Union and China.

Another US step toward trade war

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2018

“If we ever have a conflict, we don’t want to be buying steel [from] a country we are fighting,” Trump declared, referring particularly to China.

Puerto Rican Investment Summit discusses how to profit from human tragedy

By Rafael Azul, 19 February 2018

Oblivious to the humanitarian crisis, participants discussed how to profit from the hurricane destruction and protect their speculative assets from US taxes.

Kimberly-Clark to lay off over 600 workers and close two plants in Wisconsin

By Christopher Davion, 13 February 2018

The announcement of the plan to close two plants in northeastern Wisconsin is part of an international restructuring which involves laying off as many as 5,500.

Censorship, witch hunts and dirty money at the New York Times

By Andre Damon, 12 February 2018

The Times has made little effort to hide the fact that its record-breaking profits have been driven in large measure by state censorship and media scandalmongering.

Democrats and Republicans pass budget to prepare US for war

By Eric London, 10 February 2018

The Democratic Party provided the necessary votes to allocate $1.4 trillion for the military.

Wild swings on Wall Street at end of turbulent week

By Nick Beams, 10 February 2018

The business channel CNBC calculated that the Dow gyrated a total of 22,000 points up and down during the week.

Moody’s downgrades Ford’s credit forecast as investors demand deep cuts

By Tom Hall, 10 February 2018

The move by the credit ratings agency reflects fears that Ford’s “Fitness Redesign” initiative could meet with uncontrollable opposition from autoworkers.

Wall Street plunges amid fear and panic

By Nick Beams, 9 February 2018

A major feature of the turmoil has been the speed of events, with stock prices plunging and oscillating dramatically.

US Senate Democrats agree to massive boost in military spending

By Josh Varlin, 8 February 2018

The bipartisan budget plan demonstrates that both big business parties agree on military escalation and further attacks on immigrants' rights.

Global markets plunge as Dow records biggest ever one-day point fall

By Nick Beams, 6 February 2018

One of the most significant features of yesterday’s decline was its speed with the Dow plunging 900 points in just 11 minutes in an avalanche of selling.

Fear of working class upsurge triggers plunge in financial markets

By Barry Grey, 3 February 2018

The increasing market volatility takes place amidst signs of mounting working class resistance.

Signs of turbulence in stock markets

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2018

The major concern in financial markets is that a rise in bond yields could see an end to the rise in stock prices and even set off a major downturn.

Corporate giants announce partnership to cut employer health care costs

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2018

The initiative heralds a further monopolization of health care by a handful of billionaire-run corporations and a further subordination of social needs to Wall Street.

Currency conflicts deepen between US and Europe

By Nick Beams, 31 January 2018

Remarks by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the advantages of a lower dollar brought a sharp response from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

BlackRock’s Laurence Fink urges CEOs to serve a “social purpose”

By Katy Kinner, 25 January 2018

Fink, whose firm manages $6 trillion in investments, has penned a worried and hypocritical letter to the world’s CEOs urging them to exercise a “positive influence on society.”

Republicans and Democrats co-sponsor bill to dismantle Dodd-Frank bank regulations

By E.P. Milligan, 22 January 2018

The latest bill represents yet another brazen attempt to cut regulations set in place in the wake of the now decade-old financial meltdown.

US House passes short-term budget bill, but federal shutdown looms

By Patrick Martin, 19 January 2018

There appears to be little prospect of the Senate approving the House bill, which has no provisions dealing with the fate of young immigrants who are losing protection from deportation.

As US government shutdown looms, Democrats push punitive immigration deal

By Barry Grey, 18 January 2018

The latest version of the bipartisan plan proposes even more billions to militarize the US-Mexico border, including funds earmarked for Trump’s border wall with Mexico.

Democrats, Republicans resume talks on right-wing budget deal

By Patrick Martin, 16 January 2018

Only four days remain before congressional authorization to fund the government expires, threatening a partial shutdown of government agencies and a halt to federal paychecks.

Threat of trade war looming larger

By Nick Beams, 16 January 2018

A series of “anti-dumping” measures initiated by the United States could set in motion retaliatory action and lead to widening trade conflicts.

Walmart closes 63 Sam’s Club locations, lays off thousands of employees

By Trévon Austin, 13 January 2018

The closures and mass layoffs expose the media hype surrounding Walmart’s announced raising of wages.

A significant tremor in the bond markets

By Nick Beams, 13 January 2018

While the bond market has calmed since Wednesday’s sell-off, reports in the financial press indicate considerable nervousness over what the dip could signify.

December US jobs report reveals weaker than expected growth

By Trévon Austin, 6 January 2018

The modest improvement in the unemployment rate and number of jobs added over the last year are not reflective of the real situation confronting millions of workers.

Foxconn tax subsidies to build Wisconsin plant reach over $4 billion

By George Gallanis, 6 January 2018

Decades of deindustrialization have created unprecedented levels of social inequality, poverty and unemployment, which corporations like Foxconn can exploit.

The oligarchy versus society

By Barry Grey, 28 December 2017

It is impossible to seriously address a single major social issue without breaking the political and economic stranglehold of the financial oligarchy over society.

The contradictions of the bitcoin-blockchain frenzy

By Nick Beams, 23 December 2017

In seeking to grasp the significance of the present frenzy, it is worth recalling the analysis made by Marx of previous financial bubbles, in particular those associated with the expansion of the credit system, which began in the mid-nineteenth century.

Over token Democratic opposition

US Congress passes tax windfall for corporations and the rich

By Barry Grey, 21 December 2017

The Democrats support tax cuts for corporations and did nothing to seriously oppose this naked piece of class legislation.

Bitcoin speculation continues to surge

By Nick Beams, 21 December 2017

The appetites of financial speculators continue to be whetted by reports of huge gains made by hedge funds that specialise in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Disney to purchase 21st Century Fox for $66.1 billion, creating new mega-conglomerate

By Gabriel Black, 20 December 2017

The merger is expected to lead to as many as 10,000 layoffs.

Outgoing Fed chair Yellen brushes off financial warning signs

By Nick Beams, 14 December 2017

While she dismissed the impact of bitcoin on the financial system, Yellen was reminded by one questioner that her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, had said in 2007 that the sub-prime bubble would have no broader effects.

Bitcoin frenzy: The fever chart of a deepening crisis

By Nick Beams, 13 December 2017

The rise and rise of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is the most egregious expression of the rampant speculation that has come to dominate the global economy.

Amid “full employment,” no recovery in US wages

By Jerry White, 11 December 2017

The jobs report provides further evidence that the much vaunted economic “recovery” in the US has overwhelmingly benefited Wall Street at the expense of the working class.

Senate races to pass Trump tax cut for corporate America

By Barry Grey, 1 December 2017

A measure that will further restructure American society to benefit the ruling oligarchy at the expense of the mass of the population is being rushed through Congress without so much as a public hearing.

Amid mounting fears of financial turmoil

Departing Fed chairwoman seeks to reassure markets while warning of debt crisis and social inequality

By Nick Beams, 30 November 2017

Amid surging stock markets and warnings of a new financial bubble, outgoing Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen made her final appearance before Congress.

US Senate committee passes tax windfall for the rich

By Barry Grey, 29 November 2017

Congress, backed by the Trump White House, is hurtling toward the implementation of the most brazen and far-reaching corporate raid on the federal Treasury in US history.

Warnings of new financial bubble as bitcoin price hits $10,000

By Andre Damon, 29 November 2017

The explosive rise in the price of bitcoin, the first “cryptocurrency,” has eclipsed the run-up of any comparable asset in modern history.

Right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers acquire major stake in Time Magazine

By Genevieve Leigh, 28 November 2017

As the Trump administration strips media regulation and antitrust laws, media conglomerates are planning even further consolidation.

Democrats posture as opponents of Wall Street in CFPB dispute

By Patrick Martin, 28 November 2017

The conflict between Trump and the Democrats over control of the Consumer Financial Protection Board is being conducted with utter cynicism on both sides.

Trump, Congress move to finalize tax cuts for big business

By Patrick Martin, 27 November 2017

A meeting of leading Republicans and Democrats Tuesday begins the last-minute deals to provide $1.5 trillion for the wealthy at the expense of working people.

Trump’s Justice Department sues to prevent Time Warner-AT&T merger

By Gabriel Black, 27 November 2017

The deal would result in the largest vertically integrated content and distribution company in the world.

Jeff Bezos’ $100 billion: The case for expropriation

By Eric London, 27 November 2017

The wealth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, together with the trillions of dollars hoarded by his fellow billionaires, could be used to wipe out poverty, disease, and social misery.

The government attack on US college students

By Patrick Martin, 20 November 2017

The tax bill passed by the House of Representatives Thursday targets college and graduate students for savage economic attack to fund a bonanza for the super-rich.

The US tax bill: A massive handout to the financial elite

By Andre Damon, 18 November 2017

The tax bill passed by the US House of Representatives Thursday marks a new milestone in the transformation of the United States into an oligarchy.

Senate Republicans include repeal of Obamacare mandate in tax cut for the rich

By Barry Grey, 16 November 2017

The attack on access to health care for ordinary Americans is an example of the tax scheme’s fleecing of working people to pay for the tax windfall for the rich.

Trump nominates Jerome Powell as new Federal Reserve chief

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2017

Wall Street welcomed the selection of Powell, who will be the richest man to occupy the post.

US auto profits beat expectations despite softening sales

By Shannon Jones, 31 October 2017

Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors all posted higher-than-expected earnings in the third quarter, boosted by savage cost-cutting facilitated by the collaboration of the unions.

US Senate votes to protect financial giants from consumer lawsuits

By Patrick Martin, 26 October 2017

The measure will benefit companies like Wells Fargo and Equifax, as well as banks and credit card companies more generally.

The American oligarchy prepares a new tax windfall for the rich

By Barry Grey, 25 October 2017

Trump’s tax plan raises to a new level the plundering of society’s resources by the ruling class that has been underway for nearly four decades.

Senate passes resolution setting stage for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich

By Gabriel Black, 21 October 2017

The resolution helps procedurally prepare for the passage of a dramatic cut in taxes for business and for the financial elite.

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to Congress: Pass tax cuts or markets will tank

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2017

Mnuchin’s Politico interview is an unwitting admission that the world’s largest economy is dominated by financial parasitism.

Military industry stocks soar amid growing threat of war

By Gabriel Black, 19 October 2017

While basic social services are being slashed, the ruling elite is pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into more-sophisticated ways to kill people.

Thirty years since Wall Street’s “Black Monday”

By Nick Beams, 19 October 2017

Thirty years ago today, on October 19, 1987, the New York Stock Exchange experienced what remains its largest one-day fall in history.

IMF report points to financial dangers lurking beneath global growth

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2017

Central banks confront an acute contradiction: attempts to normalise monetary policy may trigger a financial crisis, but continuing the flow of easy money is creating unsustainable debt levels.

035 US jobs report

7 October 2017

Bailed out in 2008 crash, AIG now out of government oversight

By Nick Beams, 2 October 2017

Ending the “too big to fail” designation for the giant insurance group has been described as the most significant step in the Trump administration’s push for financial deregulation.

A tax plan by and for the US oligarchy

By Fred Mazelis, 29 September 2017

The proposed elimination of the estate tax is an assertion of aristocratic privilege.

A step toward trade war:

Trump’s Commerce Department imposes huge tariff on Canada’s Bombardier

By Roger Jordan, 28 September 2017

The Trump administration is using the Bombardier-Boeing dispute to send a message to the world that it intends to press forward with its protectionist “America First” program.

The Fed’s quantitative easing: A class assessment

By Nick Beams, 25 September 2017

Bourgeois economists would like to pass off speculation as some kind of extraneous, unhealthy activity, but it is rooted in fundamental processes within the capitalist economy itself.

Markets hail “gradual” moves by Federal Reserve

By Nick Beams, 21 September 2017

As stock prices continue to soar, voices within the US financial elite are warning of the dangers of another financial meltdown.

Bank for International Settlements voices concern over finance markets

By Nick Beams, 19 September 2017

The BIS has warned that the slow pace in normalising central bank interest rates and ending quantitative easing is setting up financial markets for a shock when interest rates do rise.

Growing warnings of a stock market bubble

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2017

US markets are in their second-longest bull run in history, indicating a growing divergence between financial markets and the underlying real economy.

US Fed confronts dilemmas over monetary policy

By Nick Beams, 7 September 2017

Despite massive injections of money into global financial markets by the Fed and other central banks, there is no sign of the US and the global economy returning to pre-2008 crisis conditions.

US Fed confronts dilemmas over monetary policy

By Nick Beams, 7 September 2017

Despite massive injections of money into global financial markets by the Fed and other central banks, there is no sign of the US and the global economy returning to pre-2008 crisis conditions.

Trump begins campaign for huge tax cut for business and the wealthy

By Patrick Martin, 1 September 2017

There is widespread support from Democrats on proposals to reduce the corporate tax rate, the centerpiece of the Trump administration tax plan, and repatriate offshore earnings.

After the financial crisis: How the ultra-wealthy have prospered

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2017

The word “recovery” is frequently used to describe the state of the world economy, but what it really reveals is the position of the ultra-wealthy.

Central bankers at Jackson Hole conference: What was not said and why

By Nick Beams, 28 August 2017

In their speeches, neither Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen nor European Central Bank head Mario Draghi even mentioned the massive asset purchases carried out over the past eight years.