World economy

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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’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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Government report reveals scope of housing crisis in California

By Guillaume Garnier, 26 August 2017

Rents and housing prices in the most populous state in the US continue to rise, driving hundreds of thousands of workers and youth into economic 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.

Sales declines at US department stores belie claims of economic recovery

By Barry Grey, 12 August 2017

Large sections of the working population lack the wherewithal to buy more than the bare necessities, which is why the retail slump is primarily hitting stores that cater to the working class.

Dow at 22,000: A new high for parasitism

By Nick Beams, 4 August 2017

The Dow’s record-breaking close coincided with Depression-like scenes of thousands of workers in the US lining up for job applications with Amazon, a firm which epitomizes poverty wages and super-exploitation.

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 reveals gutting of health care and pensions for US workers

By Isaac Finn, 21 July 2017

Global risk management firm Willis Towers Watson revealed the impact of the corporate-government assault on workers’ retirement and medical benefits.

US House proposes over $5 trillion in cuts

By Daniel de Vries, 20 July 2017

The plan introduced Tuesday would dismantle Medicare and Medicaid while cutting corporate taxes.

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.

Legislators pass devastating austerity budget in Illinois

By Alexander Fangmann, 10 July 2017

The new budget will become law, enshrining massive across-the-board cuts of 5 percent to most state government agencies, and 10 percent to higher education.

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.

Fed stress test results unleash “party time” for US banks

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2017

As a result of the US Federal Reserve decision, the market value of American banks is estimated to have risen by $40 billion.

Missouri rolls back minimum wage increase in St. Louis

By Matthew MacEgan, 8 July 2017

Missouri’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a law that reverses the city of St. Louis’s 2015 hourly minimum wage increase, lowering it from $10 back to the state’s standard of $7.70.