Economy

At Washington’s behest

Canada arrests top Chinese executive for “sanctions busting”

By Keith Jones and Roger Jordan, 7 December 2018

The arrest and impending extradition to the US of Meng Wanzhou is a diplomatic and geopolitical provocation that has effectively blown up the US-China trade-war “truce” after less than a week.

Huawei executive Meng’s arrest sparks market turbulence

By Nick Beams, 7 December 2018

The market turbulence on Wall Street saw the Dow off by 784 points in late morning trade which meant that the market had experienced a 1,500-point slide in a day and a half.

Trade and recession fears hit Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 5 December 2018

US share markets plunged yesterday amid fears of an escalating trade war with China as well as growing signs that the US economy is entering a recession.

Five years since Detroit bankruptcy

Moody’s warns investors about Detroit’s mounting debt

By Debra Watson, 5 December 2018

Moody’s Investors Service has issued major warnings about the ability to meet bond payments and financial shortfalls in the city’s public schools.

US and China put divergent spin on outcome of trade talks

By Nick Beams, 4 December 2018

The most important difference centres on the key demand of Washington that China make far-reaching “structural” changes to its economy in the area of high-tech development.

As G20 summit opens, US political establishment brays for trade war and military escalation

By Andre Damon, 1 December 2018

Trump’s trip to the G20 summit in Argentina has been proceeded by demands for trade war and military escalation against Russia and China.

The US mortality crisis: CDC reports extraordinary drop in life expectancy

By Trévon Austin, 30 November 2018

Not since the combined impact of World War I and the Spanish Flu in 1918 has the country experienced such a prolonged period of decline in life expectancy.

Trump escalates tariff threats against China on eve of G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 29 November 2018

While a deal is still possible, the chances seem very remote in light of Trump’s comments and those of other members of his administration.

US Fed chairman’s speech boosts Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 29 November 2018

Powell indicated that the Federal Reserve is not committed to further interest rate rises next year and is very attuned to the financial markets’ demands.

A call to action to fight the GM plant closings and mass layoffs

By Jerry White, 28 November 2018

Autoworkers and the working class as a whole cannot accept the “right” of the corporate and financial elite to shut these plants down.

GM to close five plants in US and Canada, slash 14,700 jobs

For an industrial counteroffensive against job cuts!

By Jerry White, 27 November 2018

The plant closings have been facilitated by the unions and pose the need for autoworkers in the US and Canada to form independent organizations to prepare coordinated strike action.

World Trade Organisation warns of rising protectionism ahead of G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 24 November 2018

The WTO spoke of significant economic risks if the current course continues.

Global conditions fuel Wall Street sell-off

By Nick Beams, 22 November 2018

The market has trended down since the start of October, led largely by high-tech stocks, but this week the falls broadened.

City of London Corporation reneges on its social housing pledge

By Charles Hixson, 21 November 2018

Only 900 units, less than a quarter of the City’s council home building project, are set to be completed by 2025.

US-China trade conflict leads to Wall Street sell-off

By Nick Beams, 20 November 2018

The sell-off was led by hi-tech stocks which are sensitive to heightened trade war tensions that impact on their global supply chains and could lessen demand for their products.

Trump manoeuvres ahead of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 November 2018

The central demand of the Trump administration is that Beijing scrap its “Made in China” program and adopt a subservient economic position in relation to the US.

Investigations point to energy corporation’s negligence in California wildfire

By E.P. Milligan, 15 November 2018

The PG&E utility company admitted Tuesday that it had submitted an “electric incident report” moments before the outbreak of the Camp Fire, the deadliest fire in California history.

IBM’s purchase of Red Hat highlights growing power of technology giants

By Mike Ingram, 10 November 2018

With its purchase of the open source enterprise Linux company Red Hat, IBM hopes to compete with rival tech giants, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, particularly in the area of military cloud contracts

Merrimack Valley disaster, National Grid lockout highlights dangers of profit-driven gas system

By John Marion, 9 November 2018

As Columbia Gas cuts corners in the restoration of service to Merrimack Valley communities, more than 1,200 skilled gas workers are still locked out by National Grid.

Chinese president denounces “law of the jungle” on trade

By Nick Beams, 6 November 2018

The Chinese president’s speech was an attempt to secure allies in the deepening trade war with the US.

Trump manoeuvres in lead-up to talks with Chinese President Xi

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2018

The aim is either to extract major concessions from China or, failing that, create the best conditions for pressing ahead with trade war measures.

Falling growth rate sparks concern in China’s ruling circles

By Nick Beams, 2 November 2018

A Politburo statement reflected the growing anxiety in Beijing over the economy and the impact of US trade war measures.

GM makes record quarterly profit as US corporations accelerate cost-cutting

By Jerry White, 1 November 2018

The United Auto Workers union has played a critical role in suppressing workers’ wages and intensifying their exploitation in the factories.

A major escalation in the US economic war against China

By Nick Beams, 1 November 2018

The US Commerce Department has imposed restrictions on dealings with a major Chinese high-tech firm, Fujian Jinhua, citing “national security interests.”

Watch: Two Hundred Years Since the Birth of Karl Marx

By Nick Beams, 31 October 2018

This lecture was delivered by Nick Beams, a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, at several Australian universities during September and October 2018.

Wall Street falls as US-China trade tensions rise

By Nick Beams, 30 October 2018

Bloomberg reported that the US is planning to introduce new tariffs covering all Chinese imports if talks fail between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Former Fed chair warns of new financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 26 October 2018

In remarks unprecedented for a former central banker, Janet Yellen told the Financial Times that the lessons of the financial crash of 2008 were being forgotten.

After Teamsters overrule “no” vote on contract, UPS earnings up 20 percent

By Will Morrow, 25 October 2018

The continuous growth in profits is facilitated by the Teamsters union, which functions as an instrument of UPS management and cheap labor contractor.

Fall in hi-tech shares wipes out Wall Street’s 2018 gains

By Nick Beams, 25 October 2018

The tech-heavy NASDAQ index has dropped by its biggest amount in seven years, having fallen by 12 percent since its peak in August.

Comptroller’s report details crisis of New York’s decaying transit system

By Alan Whyte, 25 October 2018

The statistics highlight a fiscal and infrastructure disaster in the making.

Sharp decline in numbers in latest China Rich List

By Robert Campion, 23 October 2018

The fall reflects the impact of a slowing Chinese economy, the impact of the US trade war measures and sharp falls in China’s share markets this year.

China growth slows to lowest level since financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 October 2018

While the trade war launched by the US has yet to make a significant impact on growth, the official Chinese statement referred to what is called the “severe international situation.”

Record high income in 2017 for top one percent of wage earners in US

By Gabriel Black, 20 October 2018

In 2017, the top one percent of US wage earners received their highest paychecks ever, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.

European Union and Rome fight over Italian budget

By Marianne Arens, 20 October 2018

In the conflict over the Italian budget, the EU Commission takes the side of the banks, stock exchanges and credit agencies, while the government pursues a course of militarism and attacks on immigrants and workers.

India seizes “shadow bank” to avert potential “catastrophic” impact on financial system

By Kranti Kumara, 20 October 2018

Financial observers have said the collapse of IL&FS could have been India’s “Lehman Brothers moment”—a reference to the September 2008 bankruptcy that triggered the global financial meltdown.

Wall Street volatile as global economy becomes “fragile”

By Nick Beams, 19 October 2018

Market instability is being fuelled by the worsening global economic outlook and escalating trade tensions between the US, China and other countries.

Sears files for bankruptcy, set to close 200 stores

By Trévon Austin, 16 October 2018

Tens of thousands of workers at Sears are the latest victims of the ongoing “retail apocalypse” in the United States.

As Pakistan seeks IMF bailout, US intensifies pressure on Islamabad

By Sampath Perera, 16 October 2018

Washington has served notice that it intends to leverage Pakistan’s current account crisis to disrupt Islamabad’s economic and strategic partnership with China

Another financial earthquake in the making

By Nick Beams, 15 October 2018

Two reports prepared by the IMF for its semiannual meeting pointed to the mounting problems of the global economy and financial system.

Wall Street fall continues in day of swings

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2018

All major US indexes are now below their 200-day moving average, which is regarded as a key indicator of the market’s direction.

Major fall on Wall Street as interest rates rise

By Nick Beams, 11 October 2018

The main factor behind the fall appears to be the spike in yields on US Treasury bonds, which have risen sharply in recent days to above 3 percent.

IMF revises down global growth projection

By Nick Beams, 11 October 2018

The world outlook report warns that trade tensions have shifted the “balance of risks” to the downside.

Key provision of USMCA trade deal aimed at China

By Nick Beams, 9 October 2018

A clause in the US trade deal with Canada and Mexico is aimed at nothing less than a “reset” of global trade relationships.

Ford announces plans for more layoffs amid new restructuring efforts

By Marcus Day, 9 October 2018

Under increasing pressure from Wall Street, Ford announced further restructuring efforts last week, including the planned elimination of thousands of salaried positions.

Australian banks downgraded as concerns mount over falling property prices

By Mike Head, 5 October 2018

The loss of “unquestionably strong” status is another indicator of a potential property and financial crash, with devastating consequences.

Forbes 400 List

Wealth of 400 richest Americans hits record $2.9 trillion

By Alec Andersen, 4 October 2018

The net worth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest individual, grew by $78.5 billion over the past year.

After North America trade deal, Trump to escalate trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 3 October 2018

In a manner recalling a Mafia don, Trump made clear that the threat of auto tariffs was central in securing the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Ten years since the 2008 bank bailout

By Andre Damon, 3 October 2018

The creation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program on October 3, 2008, was the initial step in a massive redistribution of wealth and restructuring of class relations in the United States and internationally.

Trump touts tariffs and trade war following NAFTA renegotiation

By Roger Jordan, 2 October 2018

The revised trade pact forges a US-led North American protectionist trade bloc in preparation for economic and military conflict with Washington’s global rivals, above all China.

IMF chief warns of rising risks facing global economy

By Nick Beams, 2 October 2018

The IMF is set to downgrade its forecast for global growth amid rising trade tensions.

Trump threatens “strategic allies” with auto tariffs

By Nick Beams, 29 September 2018

After being used against the European Union, the threat of auto tariffs on “national security” grounds was brought out against Japan and Canada this week.

After a decade of falling pay, US Federal Reserve acts to stop “wage inflation”

By Jerry White, 28 September 2018

The central bank executives understand that investors tend to make far more money when the sword of mass unemployment hangs over workers’ heads.

Federal Reserve lifts interest rates and indicates further hikes

By Nick Beams, 27 September 2018

For the first time since the Fed began its low-interest rate regime after the financial crisis of 2008, its base rate is above the level of inflation, indicating that wages are a key target.

US-China trade war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 26 September 2018

The escalation of the conflict and the growing recognition that it is not a temporary spat, which can be solved through negotiations, has led to concerns in sections of the financial media.

“History never teaches anyone anything”

Russian neo-Stalinist defends Partido Obrero’s “refounding” of Fourth International

By Bill Van Auken, 24 September 2018

Said Gafurov, a former advisor to Vladimir Putin, defends the PO's policy on the basis that the struggle of Trotskyism against Stalinism has lost all political significance.

Adam Tooze’s Crashed: The limitations of a Left-liberal historian

By Nick Beams, 22 September 2018

The historian Adam Tooze has published a detailed account of the origins and development of the global financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath.

The militarist component of Trump’s trade war

By Nick Beams, 20 September 2018

While China is at present the prime target, the Trump administration sees the US as being involved in an economic war against the rest of the world.

Ten years after the financial crash

Wall Street pay up 13 percent while workers’ wages stagnate

By Barry Grey, 19 September 2018

The average pay of Wall Street traders and brokers rose to $422,500.

China retaliates against US trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 19 September 2018

The escalating trade war is heightening economic instability and fueling geo-political tensions, not only between the US and China, but internationally.

The implications of US-China trade war

By Nick Beams, 18 September 2018

The world’s two largest economies have entered a rapidly-escalating trade war with vast global consequences.

China’s $60 billion in aid and loans to Africa in context

By Gabriel Black, 18 September 2018

While China’s role in Africa has grown significantly in the past two decades, the United States and its allies remain the principal issuers of debt.

Ten years after Lehman: New financial crises in the making

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2018

Commentaries on the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse voice fears of another meltdown.

Ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2018

September 15, 2008 marked a milestone in the eruption of the most far-reaching and devastating crisis of the capitalist system since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

US set to escalate trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 10 September 2018

Trump’s threat of further tariffs means that Chinese exports into the US would be subject to increased tariffs if China carries through on its threat of retaliatory measures.

A record $31.5 trillion hoarded by corporate oligarchs

By Eric London, 8 September 2018

The Wealth X report points to the immense revolutionary potential in the present situation. The resources for the transformation of the planet on an egalitarian basis already exist.

Mounting turmoil in emerging markets

By Nick Beams, 6 September 2018

The plunge in emerging market currencies is a product of the strengthening of the dollar and the increase in US interest rates, which is sucking capital back into American markets.

Argentine government announces “emergency” measures to face deepening recession and growing unrest

By Andrea Lobo, 5 September 2018

In his speech Monday, President Macri declared that the market had supported Argentina for two years and warned that “poverty will increase.”

IMF pushes for more social cuts in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 3 September 2018

Amid growing strikes of miners and other workers, the IMF is using the corruption of the Ukrainian oligarchy to push for social cuts.

Trade tensions increase as US-Canada talks miss deadline

By Nick Beams, 1 September 2018

Trump warned that if Canada did not agree to US terms “the easiest thing we can do is tariff their cars coming in,” a threat which he repeated in remarks yesterday.

Turbulence hits emerging markets as Argentina’s central bank hikes interest rates to 60 percent

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2018

The Argentine currency has lost half of its value this year and fallen to a record low against the US dollar.

Tax cuts boost US bank profits to record highs

By Trévon Austin, 30 August 2018

Banks and corporations are channeling the bulk of their savings from the tax cuts into stock buybacks, dividend increases and mergers and acquisitions.

China-US trade talks: The divisions deepen

By Nick Beams, 27 August 2018

The Chinese Commerce Ministry stated there were “constructive and frank” talks, but gave no indication of any further discussions in the future.

Nearly 90,000 retail jobs lost in UK in 12 months

By Barry Mason, 25 August 2018

Retailers are shifting employees from secure full-time contracts to less secure ones with “less rigidity and more flexibility.”

The class dynamics of the stock market bull run

By Nick Beams, 24 August 2018

The record-breaking stock market rally is the outcome of the relentless class war pursued by the ruling elite after the 2008 financial crash.

China-US talks but trade war set to escalate

By Nick Beams, 20 August 2018

The basic conflict centres on the US demand that China not only lessen the trade deficit but also significantly pull back on its plan to boost its industrial and technological base.

CEO pay up 17 percent while US workers’ wages stagnate

By Matthew Taylor and Barry Grey, 18 August 2018

The typical CEO of a large firm in the US makes in a single day almost as much as the typical worker earns in an entire year.

Amidst Turkish crisis Indian rupee falls to all-time low

By Deepal Jayasekera, 18 August 2018

The decline of Indian rupee is a part of a global rush by investors away from so-called emerging markets.

The global implications of the Turkish lira crisis

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2018

Ten years after the 2008 financial crisis, the growing intensity of economic warfare threatens to collapse the financial house of cards created by the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of the global banking system.

The Turkish crisis and the threat of world war

By Bill Van Auken, 15 August 2018

Underlying the reckless and punishing attack by Washington on Turkey’s economy are predatory geostrategic aims that are threatening to drag humanity into a new world war.

Erdogan charges US “stab in the back” as Turkey crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 14 August 2018

The Turkish president vowed to retaliate against “traitors” undermining the economy as the lira slid again precipitously on Monday.

World markets brace for impact of Turkish lira crisis

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2018

The European Central Bank has put on watch major European banks that are heavily exposed to Turkish debt.

Turkish lira plunges as US trade war measures strangle Turkish economy

By Alex Lantier and Halil Celik, 11 August 2018

President Trump is trying to use trade tariffs to compel Ankara to step up attacks on the working class and totally subordinate its foreign policy to US imperialism’s demands.

US-China trade war escalates

By Nick Beams, 9 August 2018

The US has threatened to impose tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese products, possibly by the beginning of September following public hearings to be held later this month.

Latin American elites respond to trade war with desperate “roadmap” for regional trade bloc

By Andrea Lobo, 9 August 2018

The escalating trade-war measures between the major global economies are accentuating the rabid competition between Latin American ruling elites for investments and trade.

No money for wages, schools, health care, but…

Stock buybacks will hit $1 trillion in 2018

By Barry Grey, 8 August 2018

Trillions are being squandered on inflating stock prices and the fortunes of the CEOs and big investors, while the real wages of US workers continue to decline.

Trump administration cuts in rent subsidies compound US housing crisis

By Kate Randall, 6 August 2018

With rents rising and construction of affordable apartments lagging, Trump is implementing a punitive policy that will exacerbate the already dire housing crisis.

Class exploitation and the market: The secret of the $1 trillion corporation

By Andre Damon, 4 August 2018

Apple, awash in profits extracted from workers all over the world, has become the first corporation to officially reach the $1 trillion milestone.

China threatens tariffs on $60 billion of US goods

By Nick Beams, 4 August 2018

Coming on top of the tariffs already imposed on $34 billion worth of US goods, the new measures would mean that around 85 percent of US exports to China would be covered.

Chinese president under pressure over trade war with US

By Peter Symonds, 4 August 2018

Just months after constitutional changes enabling him to stay in office indefinitely, Xi Jinping is reportedly facing internal criticism from party elders and factional rivals.

Bottom 40 percent of Americans have a negative net income

By Gabriel Black, 3 August 2018

A report by Reuters shows that nearly half of the US population does not earn enough money to cover expenses and is increasingly dependent on unsustainable levels of debt to survive.

Trump set to hike tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2018

The US is actively considering escalating proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent up from the initial level of 10 percent.

Trump plans a $100 billion tax bonus for the rich

By Niles Niemuth, 1 August 2018

The Trump administration is preparing to change the calculation of the capital gains tax so as to funnel billions more to the top 10 percent.

As US workers’ wages continue to fall

Oracle CEO pockets $250 million after Trump tax cut

By Niles Niemuth, 31 July 2018

By the end of the year, American corporations will have enriched their top executives and investors with $2.5 trillion obtained through stock buybacks, increased dividend payments, and mergers and acquisitions.

Rifts emerge in US-EU trade deal

By Nick Beams, 31 July 2018

The Trump administration is keeping a gun at the head of the EU over auto tariffs as it continues an investigation into whether to impose them on “national security” grounds.

As UPS, steel and telecom companies demand wage freezes

Workers in US face growing class battles

By Jerry White, 30 July 2018

Employers are not only refusing to relent on wages, they are doubling down and demanding new givebacks on healthcare, pensions and work rules.

Political warfare in Washington escalates with subpoena of Trump organization CFO

By Alec Andersen, 27 July 2018

The subpoena comes in the wake of an abortive effort to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus.

Qualcomm deal scuttled: China hits back at US in trade war

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2018

The collapse of the takeover has far-reaching implications for other high-tech companies that had been waiting for the outcome of the Qualcomm-NXP deal before proceeding with their own plans.

The Trump-Juncker agreement: A manoeuvre in the global trade war

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2018

The threat by Washington to impose a 25 percent tariff on auto imports has not been removed, but only suspended while negotiations go ahead on broader trade relations.

Seven months after Trump’s tax cut

Corporate tax collection rate at historic low

By Gabriel Black, 26 July 2018

The trillions in deficits created by the tax cuts for the rich will be used to justify further slashes to critical social programs that millions of Americans rely on.

Trade tensions intensify at G20 meeting

By Nick Beams, 23 July 2018

Rather than addressing any of the trade conflicts ripping through the world economy, the main work of the G20 meeting was to craft a statement that avoided them.