World economy

More US drug price hikes in 2019

By Alex Johnson, 4 February 2019

According to Reuters, drug manufacturers raised the prices of more than 250 prescription drugs, including the world’s top-selling medicine, Humira.

No deal reached at US-China trade meeting

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2019

A statement issued by the White House at the conclusion of the discussions said Trump had reiterated that the US will increase tariffs unless an outcome is reached.

The Fed’s interest rate U-turn: Some economic and political conclusions

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2019

The financial elites on Wall Street, addicted to the supply of ultra-cheap money as they appropriate the wealth produced by the labour of billions of workers, dictate economic policy.

Foxconn drastically scales back Wisconsin investment

By Jacob Crosse, 1 February 2019

This is the second time the Foxconn investment, promoted by the Trump administration as proof that its tax cuts would benefit workers, has been significantly reduced.

In the wake of December’s market turbulence

US Fed does about-turn on interest rates

By Nick Beams, 31 January 2019

The Federal Reserve’s statement yesterday dropped its language stating that further rises would be appropriate.

IMF to resume Sri Lankan loan program discussions

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 January 2019

The Sri Lankan government has assured the IMF of its commitment to “strong” austerity measures.

US and China still miles apart as trade talks are set to begin

By Nick Beams, 29 January 2019

The US is demanding China scrap its program for future economic development by implementing so-called “structural” changes.

In broadside against China, White House levels criminal charges against Huawei

By Andre Damon, 29 January 2019

The move marks a major escalation of the United States’ economic, geopolitical and military offensive against China.

Davos overshadowed by crisis and social upheaval

By Nick Beams, 25 January 2019

The decision to hand the keynote address to the newly installed fascistic president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, demonstrated the political orientation of the global elites at Davos.

China-US rifts widen on eve of trade talks

By Nick Beams, 24 January 2019

The top-level meeting will be crucial in determining whether the US proceeds to impose a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods when the March 1 deadline for negotiations expires.

Shopko retail chain files for bankruptcy, 105 stores across US to close

By Jacob Crosse, 24 January 2019

After decades of loyal service Shopko employees are to be laid off and their pensions raided so that wealthy executives can reap millions of dollars in bonuses and fees.

As global elites gather at Davos

Oxfam: 26 billionaires control as much wealth as poorest half of humanity

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2019

The UK-based charity Oxfam International has reported that the wealth of the world’s billionaires grew by $900 billion last year, a rise of 12 percent, while 3.8 billion people—half the world’s population—saw their wealth decline by 11 percent.

China records lowest growth rate since 1990

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2019

National Bureau of Statistics head Ning Jizhe said the economy faced “downward pressure” and pointed to a “complicated and severe external environment” resulting from the US trade war.

Head Start, school lunches and social programs targeted for elimination

The Congressional Budget Office points US spending priorities towards “great power” conflicts: Part Two

By Guillaume Garnier and Nancy Hanover, 21 January 2019

A recent CBO report insists that the vast majority of discretionary appropriations be allocated to the US military machine and its ever-expanding wars, while outlining “options” for eviscerating social services and public education.

Auto jobs massacre widens

Tesla, Nissan announce mass layoffs, Fiat Chrysler jobs threatened

By Marcus Day, 19 January 2019

The auto giants are seeking to terrorize an increasingly insurgent workforce into submission, as the companies confront slumping sales, a looming economic crisis and significant financial pressures.

Canada ramps up anti-China campaign as US threatens action against Huawei

By Roger Jordan, 19 January 2019

The Canadian government feels it can act so provocatively because its demonization of China is part of a broader offensive against Beijing led by US imperialism.

“Made in China 2025” at centre of US-China economic war

By Gabriel Black, 19 January 2019

The US regards the “Made in China 2025” initiative as a major threat to its own global economic and strategic domination.

Report to Davos meeting points to deepening contradictions of global capitalism

By Nick Beams, 18 January 2019

The gathering of global elites is very mindful of the mounting international class struggle, with “social anger” increasingly prevalent.

World Bank warns of “storm clouds” over global economy

By Nick Beams, 15 January 2019

The bank cut its June forecast for global growth of 3 percent this year to 2.9 percent and warned that “the risks are growing that growth could be even weaker than anticipated.”

Macy’s marks worst day ever on Wall Street, will shut eight stores in 2019

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 January 2019

Against the backdrop of Sears’ threatened liquidation, Macy’s and other department retailers suffered severe stock drops and announced plans for more store closures.

Financial warnings point to Australia’s economic and political instability

By Mike Head, 12 January 2019

Two reports raise the spectre of a financial crisis that would blow up the pre-election claims of both the Coalition government and the Labor Party.

No deal reached in US-China trade talks

By Peter Symonds, 10 January 2019

The negotiations consisted of US officials insisting that Beijing meet a long list of demands, but offering nothing in return other than not proceeding with higher tariffs.

US and Canadian elites demand Trudeau government toughen its anti-China stance

By Roger Jordan, 9 January 2019

Although Ottawa has been a key partner in Washington’s confrontation with Beijing, ruling circles want Trudeau to go even further and ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G network.

Sears liquidation temporarily averted, thousands more jobs to be slashed

By Jessica Goldstein, 9 January 2019

Sears Holding Corp. has put liquidation on hold as hedge fund manager and asset stripper Eddie Lampert, its primary shareholder, revised a bid to purchase the company’s assets.

US-China trade talks extended, amid continuing obstacles

By Peter Symonds, 9 January 2019

Washington’s aggressive stance was underscored by the provocative dispatch of a US destroyer to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea on day one of the trade talks.

Sri Lankan Central Bank governor calls for extended IMF program

By Saman Gunadasa, 7 January 2019

The IMF suspended the final $500 million installment of its $1.5 billion loan to Sri Lanka last November after bitter infighting erupted within Colombo’s political elite.

Growing signs of Australian economic fragility

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 January 2019

A marked slump in the property market is one expression of broader recessionary tendencies.

Wall Street rules

By Andre Damon, 5 January 2019

The Federal Reserve, responding to Thursday’s stock market selloff, declared it was “listening” to the markets and ready to scrap its plans to raise interest rates.

The global slowdown: US trade war comes home

By Andre Damon, 4 January 2019

The economic warfare pursued by the Trump administration with the support of broad sections of the US political establishment is coming home to roost in the form of a global slowdown spreading to the United States.

US shutdown, payless paydays could continue for “weeks”

By our reporters, 3 January 2019

A White House meeting Wednesday showed no change in the ongoing standoff between Trump and congressional Democrats.

Slowdown in China’s manufacturing growth sets tone for New Year

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2019

A key Chinese economic index has indicated lower growth as talks on US-China trade tensions are set to begin.

Cuba deepens austerity in response to continued economic stagnation

By Alexander Fangmann, 3 January 2019

The Cuban government is cutting back on the consumption of energy and other goods as a result of stagnant growth, a fall in exports and the decline in oil subsidies from Venezuela.

One year since Trump’s tax cuts: a balance sheet

Stock buybacks reach $1 trillion

By E.P. Milligan, 31 December 2018

It is now clear the vast majority of the corporate spending of the tax windfall has gone to the further enrichment of a tiny parasitic layer of investors and CEOs.

A wild week on Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 29 December 2018

This week registered the first gain for the financial markets in three weeks, but they remain on course to record the worst December since 1931.

Wild swings on Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 27 December 2018

Even with yesterday’s jump in share prices, both the Dow and the S&P 500 are on track for their worst December since 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression.

Fed attempt at calming markets fails

Wall Street plunge continues

By Nick Beams, 22 December 2018

Both the S&P and the Dow are on track for their worst December performance since December 1931, during the Great Depression.

Malaysia files charges against Goldman Sachs over 1MDB scandal

By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2018

The 1MDB scandal was a significant factor in ousting the long-reigning UMNO government and reorienting Malaysian foreign policy away from China.

US and Mexican governments agree on new Central American “Marshall Plan”

By Alex González, 21 December 2018

The plan is aimed at keeping workers in Central America from migrating to Mexico and the US.

Sharp fall on Wall Street in response to Fed interest rate decision

By Nick Beams, 20 December 2018

The Dow fell on the announcement of the rate increase and then dropped even further as Fed chairman Jerome Powell addressed a news conference, with traders reportedly yelling “Stop this guy talking.”

Financial market fall accelerates on global growth fears

By Nick Beams, 18 December 2018

With all indexes now in “correction” territory, having fallen more than 10 percent since their highs, Wall Street is on track to record its biggest annual decline since 2008.

China’s economic slowdown: The political issues confronting the working class

By Nick Beams, 15 December 2018

The China slowdown is part of a global process, exposing the fraudulent claim that the global economy had finally “turned the corner” after the deep recession produced by the financial crisis a decade ago.

Turmoil on Wall Street continues

By Nick Beams, 11 December 2018

Concerns over global growth are a significant factor in the ongoing slide and volatility in US markets, with signs of a downturn reflected in the fall of commodity prices.

The kidnapping of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

By Andre Damon, 8 December 2018

Meng’s arrest and confinement—without bail and on tendentious and opaque charges potentially carrying a sentence of 60 years—amount to little more than a kidnapping.

As Dow drops another 560 points

Wall Street Journal warns of stock “stampede”

By Nick Beams, 8 December 2018

The longest bull market in history has rested on the suppression of the class struggle by the trade union bureaucracy, which is breaking apart.

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.