World Economy

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.

Trade conflict heats up

By Nick Beams, 8 March 2018

The European Union hopes to avert the Trump tariff measures but at a press conference Trump singled out the EU for attack.

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.

The historic significance of Trump’s trade war measures

By Nick Beams, 5 March 2018

Trump’s trade measures are a major step in the dismantling of the system of economic relations established by Washington itself after World War II.

EU threatens retaliation to Trump’s trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 3 March 2018

Trump’s announcement of global tariffs on steel and aluminium has triggered international criticism, including from US allies that will be among the hardest hit.

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.

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.

Marx’s analysis of the laws of capital and the share market crisis

By Nick Beams, 17 February 2018

The largest fall in markets since the crisis of 2008 has provided a damning exposure of the entire framework of bourgeois economics and a living confirmation of the analysis of Karl Marx.

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.

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.

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.

The working class and the capitalist economy

By Nick Beams, 5 February 2018

Friday’s fall on world stock markets, in response to an uptick in US wages, demonstrates the significance of Marx's labor theory of value, which explains the inner workings of the capitalist economy.

India strengthens ties with ASEAN countries

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 February 2018

Modi’s manoeuvres with ASEAN are part of India’s transformation into a frontline state in Washington’s strategic offensive against China.

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.

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.

The “fractured world”: Plutocrats convene in Davos amid war and great-power conflict

By Andre Damon, 27 January 2018

The 47th annual World Economic Forum was dominated by apprehension over every aspect of global politics and economics, from the possibility of a 2008-style financial collapse to the threat of a new world war.

German Chancellor promotes militarism and great-power politics at World Economic Forum

By Johannes Stern, 26 January 2018

Merkel sought to drum up support for a European defence policy that would enable Germany and Europe to enforce their economic and geostrategic interests around the world.

Asia-Pacific trade bloc reshaped, without the US

By Mike Head, 25 January 2018

The “TPP 11” announcement points to the increasing isolation of the US, and the escalating tensions between the rival capitalist powers.

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.”

World Economic Forum meets in Davos under shadow of crisis and war

By Bill Van Auken, 24 January 2018

The gathering of the world’s oligarchs is taking place amid the breakdown of the postwar capitalist order and the eruption of great power conflict.

IMF upgrades global growth forecast amid warnings of “fracture points”

By Nick Beams, 24 January 2018

While attention is focused on the headline predictions of a rise in growth, there are warnings that the spurt may not last.

Oxfam: Bottom half of world’s population received none of the wealth created in 2017

By Niles Niemuth, 23 January 2018

The annual survey, which reported the largest annual increase in the number of billionaires worldwide, was released to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Indian Prime Minister Modi to tout pro-business record at World Economic Forum

By Kranti Kumara, 23 January 2018

The WEF deliberations will be bookended by speeches from Modi, a slavish servant of big business and Hindu supremacist, and the fascist-minded billionaire, US President Donald Trump.

Sri Lankan president threatens to end ruling coalition

By K. Ratnayake, 23 January 2018

Sirisena’s cabinet walkout demonstrates the government’s crisis and points to preparations for dictatorial rule.

US takes aim at China over trade

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2018

The Trump administration has declared it was a mistake to admit China to the World Trade Organisation in 2001.

Sharp fall in bitcoin price a sign of growing financial turbulence

By Nick Beams, 19 January 2018

The speculative rise, and now the plunges, in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are indicative of broader processes in the global financial system.

“Fractures, Fears and Failures:” World’s ruling elites stare into the abyss

By Bill Van Auken, 18 January 2018

The Global Risk Report released in advance of the World Economic Forum in Davos exposes mounting anxiety in ruling circles over the threat of war and social revolution.

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.

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.

Upturn in global economy will not last, says World Bank

By Nick Beams, 11 January 2018

The bank warned of “particularly worrying” longer-term risks associated with “subdued productivity and potential growth.”

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 Dow at 25,000: The bonanza for the oligarchy continues

By Nick Beams, 5 January 2018

Rather than reflecting economic health, the stock market bubble is a mechanism for the perverse and malignant upward redistribution of social wealth.

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.

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.

Trade conflicts deepen at WTO meeting

By Nick Beams, 18 December 2017

In a move directed against China, the US, Japan and the European Union agreed to take joint action on “severe excess capacity” in steel and other commodities.

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.

11 December 2017

Australia: Lowest consumer spending since global financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 8 December 2017

Consumption spending is being dragged down by historically low wage growth, rising energy costs and high debt levels.

Warnings of financial crash as stock markets continue to surge

By Nick Beams, 5 December 2017

A leading British fund manager said he is losing count of the number of “red lights” that are flashing warning signs over the state of financial markets.

US initiates trade war investigation into Chinese aluminium imports

By Nick Beams, 1 December 2017

The aggressive content of the last US move is indicated by the fact that it is the first “self-initiated” trade measure by the Commerce Department in more than a quarter of a century.

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.

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.

Trump’s Asia visit: Growing US economic isolation to fuel military push

By Nick Beams, 13 November 2017

Trump’s tour has underscored the mounting problems US imperialism confronts globally.

Trump sets out economic war in address to Asia-Pacific summit

By Nick Beams, 11 November 2017

In his diatribe, the US president cast aside the multilateral framework put in place by the United States itself in the aftermath of World War II.

Paradise Papers shed light on how giant companies and the super-rich avoid taxation

By Gabriel Black, 10 November 2017

The latest leaks confirm that the largest companies in the world, and the ultra-wealthy that run them, use their power and wealth to park trillions of dollars offshore to avoid taxation.

Three billionaires are wealthier than half the US population

By Eric London, 10 November 2017

According to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett now own more wealth than the poorest half of the US population, some 160 million people.

As US moves to abolish estate tax, world’s billionaires pile up another $1 trillion

By Andre Damon, 27 October 2017

As the ultra-rich grow older and wealthier, they are increasingly preoccupied with the question of “succession.”

European Central Bank to continue bond-buying program

By Nick Beams, 27 October 2017

Draghi’s supporters on the ECB governing council prevailed against a push to set a date to end its quantitative easing policy.

China faces growing debt problems, says central bank governor

By Nick Beams, 24 October 2017

The use of the term “Minsky moment” could be an indication of how serious the bank chief regards the situation.

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.

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.

Trump threatens to jettison NAFTA, as trade disputes intensify

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 13 October 2017

The collapse of NAFTA would mark a new stage in the eruption of 1930s-style “beggar they neighbor” trade conflicts.

Growth to rise but wages continue to fall, says IMF

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2017

International Monetary Fund chief economist Maurice Obstfeld welcomed the uptick in global growth but said the “recovery” was “cyclical” and “incomplete.”

Indian economy in a downward spiral

By Kranti Kumara, 11 October 2017

The Indian economy, touted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a high-growth haven, is increasingly mired in crisis.

Outgoing German finance minister warns of financial bubbles

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2017

Schäuble said he had “no idea when the next crisis will happen” but economists all over the world were concerned about the rise of liquidity and debt.

Australian economy “going into a hole”

By Nick Beams, 7 October 2017

The record run of the Australian economy, 26 years without a recession, has “flattered to deceive,” as major economic problems come to the surface.

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.

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.

The 150th anniversary of the publication of Capital

By Nick Beams, 18 September 2017

September 14 was the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Capital by Karl Marx. It marked a turning point in mankind’s intellectual and historical development.

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.

ECB makes first move to wind back quantitative easing

By Nick Beams, 9 September 2017

The class agenda of the ECB emerged when president Mario Draghi called for the further elimination of job protection as he backed reforms by the Macron presidency in France.

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.

Amid warnings of a new financial crash, Fed Chairwoman promotes illusions at Jackson Hole conference

By Nick Beams, 26 August 2017

Yellen extolled the achievements of the Federal Reserve in putting in place measures to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis.

Behind the political warfare in the US: Rising fears of financial collapse, social unrest

By Nick Beams, 22 August 2017

There are growing concerns in US and global financial circles that the rise in the US stock market that accelerated with the election of Donald Trump is heading for a major downturn.

US takes major step toward trade war with China

By Nick Beams, 21 August 2017

Stephen Bannon has been forced out as Trump’s chief strategist, but his agenda of economic warfare against China has been taken up by the administration.

IMF sharpens its warning on “dangerous” Chinese debt growth

By Nick Beams, 18 August 2017

According to the IMF, the increased Chinese debt, resulting from government efforts to stimulate the economy, could lead to a financial crisis.

European contaminated eggs scandal broadens

By Anna Rombach, 16 August 2017

Eggs contaminated with the toxic insecticide Fipronil have now been found in many European countries and in Hong Kong.

Amazon CEO Bezos makes $1.4 billion Thursday morning, briefly becoming world’s richest person

By Evan Blake, 28 July 2017

Bezos’s ascension to the heights of society rests on the exploitation of Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of workers worldwide.

IMF global outlook downgrades US growth prospects

By Nick Beams, 25 July 2017

A decade after the global financial crisis, growth rates remain well below the levels of 2008, with no sign of a return to the previous levels in the future.

US-China trade talks conclude in acrimony

By Nick Beams, 22 July 2017

A former White House advisor said the meeting had “all the signs—no joint statement, or press conference, no outcomes—of serious and sustained tensions rapidly emerging due to deep differences.”

Trump administration to pursue protectionist agenda in NAFTA renegotiation

By Roger Jordan, 21 July 2017

Washington intends to use the talks to extract concessions from corporate America’s Canadian and Mexican rivals and to forge a US-led trade bloc to confront its global rivals.

ECB offers reassurance to anxious financial markets

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2017

ECB president Mario Draghi said there were indications of economic growth but this was yet to translate into underlying inflation dynamics.

Study finds financial parasitism contributes to the high cost of drugs

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2017

According to the authors of a recent study, the reason for the high cost of drugs in the US is the prevalence of a “social disease” called “maximising shareholder value.”

030 G20 crackdown

15 July 2017

Transatlantic tensions dominate G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 10 July 2017

Despite cobbling together a unanimous resolution, the G20 summit was, by any measure, the most fractious meeting of major political leaders in the post-war period.

Global financial parasitism and the political strategy of the working class

By Nick Beams, 10 July 2017

The statement “Palace coup or class struggle: The political crisis in Washington and the strategy of the working class,” issued by the SEP (US), is grounded on the “life situation” facing the working class, resulting from the rise of financial parasitism and its domination over every aspect of economic and social life.

The oligarchs assemble in Hamburg

By Alex Lantier, 8 July 2017

Ringed by tens of thousands of heavily-armed police, the representatives of the global financial oligarchy gathered in Hamburg to hurl recriminations at one another.

Trump speech in Poland fans conflict with Germany, Russia

By Patrick Martin, 7 July 2017

The US president associated himself fully with the ultra-right policies pursued by the nationalistic PiS government in Warsaw.

Trade conflicts hang over G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 7 July 2017

The steel issue is only the sharpest expression of a wider conflict that goes to the very nature of trade relations among the major powers.

Bitter conflicts dominate G20 summit in Germany

By Bill Van Auken, 7 July 2017

The G20 summit convenes today in Hamburg, Germany in an atmosphere of global crisis and multisided conflicts that point to the emergence of a new prewar period.

Xi’s visit to Berlin highlights growing US-EU conflicts before G20 summit

By Alex Lantier, 6 July 2017

As Trump arrived in Poland, Xi’s state visit in Berlin highlighted growing US-EU tensions over Asia.

Bank for International Settlements warns on low interest rate regime

By Nick Beams, 27 June 2017

While noting an upturn in the global economy, the BIS said sentiment had swung more than facts and a series of “tensions” and “paradoxes” remained.

Chinese authorities launch probe into financial system fearing “Lehman moment”

By Nick Beams, 24 June 2017

The Beijing government is concerned about purchases of overseas assets using financial mechanisms outside their control.

030 Shanghai cooperation organisation summit

10 June 2017

European Central Bank still failing to meet inflation objective

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2017

Structural changes in the European economy mean low wages along with part-time and casual employment are becoming the “new normal.”

Australian economy barely avoids contraction

By Mike Head, 8 June 2017

Without spending by deeply-indebted households, the country would officially be in recession.

Uncertainty grows over US Fed’s interest rate moves

By Nick Beams, 6 June 2017

Far-reaching structural changes in the economy, above all the rise of low-paid part-time labour, have undermined the assumptions on which the Fed’s policies have been based.

Huge job losses loom in India’s IT sector

By Joy Bose and Kranti Kumara, 3 June 2017

According to industry reports, India’s IT sector could eliminate 600,000 jobs over the next three years.

050 Amazon stock

31 May 2017

The rift between Germany and America: A “watershed” moment

By Nick Beams, 29 May 2017

While there have been divergences at previous G7 meetings, this year the participants were unable to paper over their differences in the final communiqué.

Transatlantic tensions dominate G7 summit

By Peter Schwarz, 27 May 2017

Nearly a decade after the 2008 financial crisis, the conflicting interests among the imperialist powers have reached a point at which they can no longer be reconciled through talks and diplomacy.

Moody’s downgrades China’s debt rating

By Nick Beams, 26 May 2017

The sharp reaction of the Chinese finance ministry to the Moody’s downgrade decision signifies that that economic and political contradictions facing the Xi Jinping regime are increasing.

140 APEC

23 May 2017