World economy

Trade war and the eruption of economic nationalism

By Nick Beams, 22 June 2018

As in the 1930s, the re-emergence of trade war and protectionism are accompanied by the most grotesque forms of right-wing xenophobia and authoritarianism.

White House report lays out economic war against China

By Nick Beams, 21 June 2018

China’s “economic aggression” is denounced as threatening the US and the global economy.

Trump escalates trade war with new tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 20 June 2018

The latest moves by the US administration brought a fall in stock markets amid growing concerns that trade war will have a significant impact on investment and global supply chains.

Washington launches trade war measures against China

By Ben McGrath, 16 June 2018

The decision by the Trump Administration to initiate a trade war between the world’s two largest economies will contribute to the already growing tensions and danger of military conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.

Court sanction of AT&T-Time Warner merger strengthens corporate grip on news and entertainment

By Barry Grey, 13 June 2018

Coming just one day after the termination of net neutrality, the federal court ruling sets the stage for the further consolidation of monopoly control and suppression of oppositional points of view.

After G7 summit, Merkel calls for European rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 13 June 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Germany “must promote our principles and values in Europe, potentially in alliance with Canada or Japan”

Recriminations, threats between US and allies continue after collapse of G7 summit

By Barry Grey, 12 June 2018

The level of acrimony and division following the unprecedented failure of the latest in a long line of summits points to a fundamental and irreparable breakdown of the post-World War II economic order.

US-European tensions erupt at the G7 summit

By Andre Damon, 9 June 2018

The bitter denunciations of America’s trade war measures by its closest allies are just one manifestation of the divisions ripping apart the world geopolitical order.

Mexico responds to Trump’s trade war measures with tariffs on US goods

By Rafael Azul, 9 June 2018

Retaliating against US steel and aluminum import tariffs, the government of Mexico imposed tariffs on 71 products exported by the United States.

G7 conflict set to deepen at leaders’ summit

By Nick Beams, 7 June 2018

The G7 has been called the G6 plus one, as Canada, the EU and Japan seek to coordinate their response to US tariffs.

Deep divisions over US trade policies at G7 finance ministers meeting

By Nick Beams, 4 June 2018

The statement from the G7, agreed to by Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, pointed to the “negative impact of the unilateral trade actions of the United States.”

Backlash against US over tariffs

By Nick Beams, 2 June 2018

The European Union is pushing ahead with counter-measures against the US. It is expected to announce its final list of products to be targeted later this month.

US imposes steel and aluminium tariffs

Trump administration takes major step toward global trade war

By Nick Beams, 1 June 2018

The European Union said it would take immediate steps to retaliate, warning of a 1930s-style depression.

Fed eases “Volcker Rule” limits on bank speculation

By Patrick Martin, 1 June 2018

The move is the latest step in a systematic campaign to lift even the mild restrictions on bank activities imposed after the 2008 Wall Street crash.

Harley-Davidson workers’ anger grows over impending Kansas City plant closure

By Marcus Day, 1 June 2018

Fueling outrage is the company’s brazen display of corporate greed, showering investors with hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends and stock buybacks.

Trump sets out timetable for anti-China tariffs

By Nick Beams, 31 May 2018

The White House measures are aimed at China’s efforts to develop high-tech industries.

Naming of technocratic government plunges Italy into crisis of class rule

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2018

Financial markets are panicking and protests are being called, as bitter divisions inside the Italian bourgeoisie erupt to the surface.

Bipartisan hostility to Trump deal on Chinese telecom firm ZTE

By Nick Beams, 28 May 2018

Moves are underway in the US Congress, supported by leading Republicans and Democrats, to extend bans on Chinese telecos regarded as a threat to “national security.”

Trump orders “national security” probe into auto industry

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2018

The investigation was directly linked to statements about economic preparations for war.

Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Company’s profits surge

By Isaac Finn, 25 May 2018

The iconic company announced that profits had experienced a massive 53 percent increase to $142 million in the first three months of this year, with sales exceeding $1 billion.

Trump trade deal comes under anti-China fire

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2018

The delay in imposing tariffs on China has been condemned by both sides of the US Congress as giving in to Beijing.

As US banks report record profits

Regulators, Congress move to end all restraints on Wall Street speculation

By Barry Grey, 23 May 2018

As the tenth anniversary of the September 2008 Wall Street crash approaches, the token restrictions on the banks that were passed during the Obama administration are being dismantled.

Limited truce in US-China trade conflict

By Nick Beams, 22 May 2018

Despite the postponement of US tariffs, the threat of open trade war remains.

Inconclusive outcome of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 21 May 2018

The vagueness of the final, brief communiqué, left the way open for both sides to offer their own interpretations on what had been agreed.

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.

Two voices of concern over Trump’s “New World Order”

By Nick Beams, 15 May 2018

One has the sense from both articles of the growing fears in ruling circles of the consequences of the US economic and foreign policy agenda for the stability of the world capitalist system.

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.

US trade war claims China’s ZTE as first victim

By Nick Beams, 11 May 2018

ZTE operates on a global scale, doing business in more than 160 countries with over 74,000 employees, and generating revenues of $17 billion last year.

Argentina to make new IMF agreement amid growing social discontent

By Eric London, 10 May 2018

An estimated 75 percent of Argentinians oppose the move, which takes place alongside broadening strikes among teachers and other workers.

Argentine financial crisis could signal broader turbulence

By Nick Beams, 10 May 2018

Countries with high debts are coming under pressure because of rising interest rates and an appreciation in the value of the US dollar.

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.

US issues trade ultimatum to China

By Nick Beams, 7 May 2018

The list of measures is not intended as the basis for negotiations but to escalate economic conflict and military tensions.

Official report whitewashes financial crimes by Australia’s biggest bank

By Mike Head, 5 May 2018

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia agreed to a worthless “enforceable undertaking,” which means it can carry on with its rapacious activities.

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.

European Central Bank points to slowing economic growth

By Nick Beams, 27 April 2018

The ECB appears to have adopted a “wait and see” approach on monetary policy in light of the latest eurozone slowdown.

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.

US and Britain hit Chinese telecom company ZTE

By Nick Beams, 17 April 2018

Both countries imposed the bans amid calls for more aggressive moves by US authorities against Chinese communications and telecom firms.

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.

Trade war issues come into sharper focus

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2018

The key question is not primarily the Chinese trade surplus against which Trump rails, but Beijing’s plan to become a major source of high-tech development.

Top Trump aide lays out driving forces of trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 10 April 2018

Trump’s key trade adviser Peter Navarro declared that China’s move into high-tech development was a direct threat to US economic and military dominance.

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.”

China prepares to strike back as US trade war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 7 April 2018

At a briefing with reporters in Beijing Friday evening, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said the US move was “extremely wrong” and China was preparing to retaliate.

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.

Canada’s trade union-backed Liberal government clamps down on steel and aluminum imports

By Roger Jordan, 7 April 2018

Trudeau’s protectionist measures, which help enforce Trump’s trade war tariffs, include corporatist initiatives aimed at further integrating the unions with big business and the state.

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.

US-China trade war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 5 April 2018

The driving force of the US action is Washington’s attempt to prevent China from developing its capacities in high technology sectors, including communications, robotics, aircraft and pharmaceuticals.

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.

Markets fall on trade war fears

By Nick Beams, 24 March 2018

Chinese reaction to US tariff measures has been fairly muted, so far, but government officials said they will defend their “legitimate interests.”

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.

US to launch trade measures against China

By Nick Beams, 22 March 2018

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said action would be taken outside the WTO, because China’s “state-dominated economy” rejects “market principles.”

European Union seeks tariff exemptions as US sets out demands

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2018

Talks in Washington with the Trump administration will determine whether the EU proceeds with threatened measures in retaliation against the US imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium.

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.

Confusion over US tariff exemptions

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2018

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer could give his EU and Japanese counterparts no indication of the criteria for gaining an exemption.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.