US Economy

US coal giant Blackjewel, LLC and affiliates declare bankruptcy

By Zachary Thorton, 23 July 2019

Another coal giant has declared bankruptcy, leaving devastation in its wake as hundreds of workers are out of work and owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

The Bretton Woods Agreement 75 years on

By Nick Beams, 22 July 2019

The participants at the conference were acutely conscious of the fact that what was at stake in their deliberations to establish a new world economic order was nothing less than the survival of their rule.

Mixed signals on rate cut prompts Trump to demand the Fed enlist in US trade war against rivals

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2019

Trump is demanding that the Fed drop all pretence of “independence” and openly serve as an instrument of Washington’s economic war against its global competitors.

As US senators deepen attack on Huawei

Trump’s trade war against China hits Asian economies

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2019

Because it functions as a transhipment hub for final destinations in the rest of Asia, a sharp decline in exports from Singapore last month points to an economic slowdown across the region.

Jeff Bezos flaunts obscene wealth with $80 million Manhattan penthouse purchase

By Clare Hurley, 16 July 2019

Bezos’ $137 billion combined wealth could pay the annual median rent for all 250,000 Amazon workers in the US for 100 years.

Fed signals it will bow to Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 11 July 2019

Fed Chairman Powell’s testimony to Congress yesterday was warmly welcomed by the financial markets, with Wall Street’s S&P 500 index at one point surpassing 3,000, a new record.

As economic conflicts intensify

One year since the start of US trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2019

Under conditions of its relative economic decline, the US regards China's industrial and technological development as intolerable, and will use all methods necessary to prevent it.

The significance of Trump’s awarding of the Freedom Medal to Arthur Laffer

By Nick Beams, 25 June 2019

The fact that Laffer’s theories were exposed as economic nonsense from the outset did not in any way lessen their influence because they encapsulated the unrelenting drive for increased wealth that has dominated the ruling elite over the past four decades.

As Trump ramps up trade war, US Steel to idle three blast furnaces in the US and Europe

By Jessica Goldstein, 22 June 2019

Because of the furnace shutdowns, hundreds or even thousands of workers could eventually lose their jobs worldwide.

As contract talks set to begin

GM throws down gauntlet to autoworkers

By Jerry White, 21 June 2019

The industry publication Automotive News says the automaker will demand the hiring of more low paid temps and cuts to existing health care benefits.

“Sully” Sullenberger testifies that the 737 Max 8 was “fatally flawed”

By Bryan Dyne, 21 June 2019

The airline captain’s statement to Congress exposed the negligence of Boeing and questioned the relationship between the company and regulatory agencies.

US Federal Reserve signals readiness for interest rate cut

By Nick Beams, 20 June 2019

Fed chairman Jerome Powell gave a clear indication that rate cuts were on the table, pointing to “significant changes” in the statement of its policy-making body.

Market surge continues on prospect of Fed rate cut

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2019

One financial analyst told the Wall Street Journal the markets were a “slave to liquidity, and when the Fed is accommodative, it’s a good sign for the markets.”

US job growth down sharply, wages stagnate

By Jerry White, 10 June 2019

US workers have seen a mere 1.1 percent increase in real wages over the last year.

IMF warns of growing trade war

By Nick Beams, 7 June 2019

Trump’s threat to use tariffs against Mexico over immigration has sent a shock wave through the international trading system because it makes clear the US is prepared to use economic and trade warfare measures to pursue all of its policy objectives.

US coal producer Cloud Peak Energy files for bankruptcy

By Zachary Thorton, 7 June 2019

Over 1,200 miners face a precarious future after the third-largest US coal producer declared bankruptcy.

US stocks surge as Fed signals rate cut

By Barry Grey, 5 June 2019

US stock prices shot up Tuesday, reversing weeks of declines, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that he was prepared to slash interest rates.

The US and China on a collision course

By Andre Damon, 3 June 2019

The “cold war” between the United States and China took a major step toward becoming a “hot” war over the weekend at the annual Shangri-La defense summit in Singapore.

Trump’s Mexican tariff threat hits global markets

By Nick Beams, 1 June 2019

In pursuit of his political agenda, Trump has made clear he is prepared to resort to the unprecedented use of economic measures, with far-reaching international ramifications.

Rumored deal between Fiat-Chrysler and Renault foreshadows mass layoffs

By Tom Hall, 27 May 2019

The proposed deal with the French automaker will be used to eliminate “redundancies,” particularly in FCA’s unprofitable European operations.

Dressbarn to close all its stores as US “retail apocalypse” exceeds 2018 closures

By Anthony Bertolt, 27 May 2019

The liquidation of the clothing retailer will throw approximately 6,800 workers out of their jobs with little, if any, support.

Markets fall on trade war and global growth fears

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2019

The Financial Times cited one fund manager who said it was “panic mode” and “people are realising that the economy could be a lot slower than we thought.”

White House and Google launch technology war against China

By Andre Damon, 21 May 2019

Google and other companies have announced measures that would effectively destroy Huawei, the second-largest global smartphone maker and the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment.

Police escort workers out of closed plant in Central Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 20 May 2019

Police were called to stand by as nearly 1,000 workers were abruptly thrown out of their jobs at this Central Pennsylvania factory

No agreement at US-China trade talks as positions harden

By Nick Beams, 11 May 2019

A week ago, a deal had been expected, but that scenario was blown up when the Trump administration accused Beijing of backtracking on its commitments.

The Uber IPO: Billions for investors, increased exploitation for workers

By Shannon Jones, 11 May 2019

The global strikes and protests by Uber and Lyft drivers amid an orgy of stockholder enrichment underscore the need for workers to adopt an international socialist strategy.

US tariff hike against China goes ahead

By Nick Beams, 10 May 2019

Trump said talks with Chinese representatives would proceed, but “I have no idea what’s going to happen.”

On eve of trade talks in Washington

Trump threatens new tariffs against China

By Nick Beams, 6 May 2019

Trump’s threats, aimed at putting intense pressure on Chinese negotiators when they sit down with their US counterparts on Wednesday, could have the effect of blowing up the talks.

US-China trade talks enter final phase

By Nick Beams, 4 May 2019

One of the main sticking points is agreement on the procedure by which US tariffs imposed on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods would be lifted if a trade agreement is reached.

US threatens UK over Huawei involvement in 5G network

By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2019

After it was leaked that Huawei could help build the British 5G network, the Trump administration is threatening to shut Britain out of “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing.

Amazon posts record $3.6 billion profit in first three months of 2019

By Niles Niemuth, 27 April 2019

Amazon plans to increase the exploitation of workers in the US and internationally by implementing free one day shipping for Prime subscribers to ensure ever-bigger profits.

Fed “pivot” promotes stock market surge

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2019

While share prices soar, the global economic outlook has worsened, with growing signs of a downturn.

OECD report: Growth of social inequality fuels global political and economic crisis

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 April 2019

The findings of the report showed that among OECD countries, a growing number of middle-income earners perceive “that the current socioeconomic system is unfair.”

Empty buildings, empty promises: Foxconn con job continues in Wisconsin

By Jacob Crosse, 22 April 2019

An estimated $300 million has already been siphoned from public coffers to provide transportation access for a nonexistent factory complex.

New round of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2019

Among the most contentious issues that remain unresolved are which US tariffs would continue force and the establishment of an enforcement mechanism.

Trump, the Fed and the New York Times

By Nick Beams, 17 April 2019

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Fed after Wall Street last year experienced its worst December result since the depths of the Great Depression in 1931.

US Tax Day 2019: Sixty giant corporations pay zero income tax

By Patrick Martin, 16 April 2019

As a consequence of Trump’s 2017 tax cut for the wealthy, the number of Fortune 500 companies paying no federal income taxes has doubled.

As trade tensions increase, IMF lowers forecasts for global growth

By Nick Beams, 11 April 2019

The IMF reported that industrial production and investment remained weak in many advanced and developing economies, and world trade had yet to recover.

Trump calls for more cheap money for financial markets

By Nick Beams, 8 April 2019

Proposals by Trump to fill two vacancies on the Fed’s board of governors have brought denunciations of political stacking.

US-China trade deal pushed back

By Nick Beams, 6 April 2019

Trump emerged from a meeting with chief Chinese trade negotiator Liu He to say it would take at least four weeks to reach an agreement as he declined to set a date for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Investigation shows that a malfunctioning Boeing sensor caused Ethiopian Airlines crash

By Kevin Reed, 5 April 2019

The preliminary report by the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau shows that a faulty angle-of-attack sensor was behind the crash on March 10 that killed 157 passengers and crew.

Amid auto layoffs and warnings of manufacturing “bloodbath”

IMF chief points to global growth deceleration

By Nick Beams, 4 April 2019

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde noted that while two years ago 75 percent of the global economy was experiencing an upswing, today 70 percent is in a slowdown.

Sears abruptly slashes life insurance coverage for 90,000 retirees

By Jacob Crosse, 3 April 2019

Retirees have been given two options—either convert all or a portion of the previously held policy into a new plan, and begin making payments, or watch it evaporate.

Lyft IPO: Wall Street rakes in billions from the growth of casualized labor

By Dan Conway, 1 April 2019

A small layer of investors and company employees have become multimillionaires and billionaires, while hundreds of thousands of drivers struggle to make ends meet on poverty level wages.

US-China trade deal still in the balance

By Nick Beams, 30 March 2019

The issue of enforcement has been at the centre of US demands, with Washington wanting the right to impose tariffs on China without any retaliation.

Mounting warnings of a global recession

By Nick Beams, 29 March 2019

Bloomberg has reported that the amount of global bonds with negative yields has topped $10 trillion, an indication of the growing uncertainty in financial markets.

Massive Hudson Yards real estate project opens in Manhattan

By Fred Mazelis and Mark Witkowski, 25 March 2019

The development is the latest and most extreme expression of the gentrification and inequality that has reached unprecedented levels in the capital of American capitalism.

Median CEO pay in US tops $1 million a month

By Patrick Martin, 18 March 2019

Attacks on workers are paying off for the bosses at Ford, Boeing, Blue Cross Blue Shield and other giant corporations.

A tirade against China at US Senate committee hearing

By Nick Beams, 14 March 2019

The questioning of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer centred almost exclusively on the content and progress of trade talks with Beijing.

New York Times lines up with anti-China hawks

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2019

The key US demand is that China must make “structural” changes to its economy, including abandoning state subsidies to major industries.

US jobs numbers highlight global growth concerns

By Nick Beams, 11 March 2019

Last week the OECD cut its growth forecast for advanced economies in 2019 from 1.8 percent to 1 percent, with Europe taking the brunt of the downward revision.

US “retail apocalypse” expected to exceed annual high with more than 1,100 store closures announced in one day

By Trévon Austin, 9 March 2019

More than 6,300 stores are already set to close in 2019 already surpassing the total number of closures last year.

Some economic and political conclusions

The ten-year stock market bull run

By Nick Beams, 9 March 2019

Over the past decade, as a result of policies carried out by the US government, financial authorities and the US Federal Reserve, trillions of dollars have been pumped into financial markets, lifting the Dow and the S&P 500 by more than 300 percent.

Record US deficit in traded goods

By Nick Beams, 7 March 2019

The increased deficit is an expression of the inherent contradictions of Trump’s “America First” trade agenda, within the framework of a globalised economy.

US-China trade deal reported to be in the making

By Nick Beams, 5 March 2019

The Trump negotiators are insisting that the US retain the right to impose tariffs if it considers a deal has been abrogated and China should not impose any retaliatory measures.

Canada gives go-ahead for Huawei executive’s extradition to US

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2019

A statement from Meng’s defence lawyers objected to the Canadian decision in the face of what it called “the political nature of the US charges.”

Enforcement and technology key issues in China trade deal, Lighthizer tells US Congress

By Nick Beams, 1 March 2019

The US Trade Representative made it clear the fundamental question is “structural reforms” in the Chinese economy.

Socialism and the case for expropriation

By Andre Damon, 27 February 2019

A growing movement of the working class confronts the entrenched power of a financial oligarchy intent on expanding its wealth and domination over society.

Ford production crippled by Mexican workers’ strike

By Jerry White, 27 February 2019

After concealing news about the strike in Mexico for six weeks, the Detroit Free Press acknowledged that it has forced Ford to halt production due to a lack of steering wheels.

Illinois and New Jersey governors sign $15 minimum wage into law

By Jacob Crosse, 25 February 2019

Promoted by the unions and the pseudo-left, the “Fight for $15” campaign has been utilized by the Democratic Party to institutionalize poverty wages for millions of workers.

Further blows to US anti-Huawei campaign

By Nick Beams, 23 February 2019

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the German government is “leaning towards letting Huawei … participate in building the nation’s high-speech internet infrastructure.”

Trump receives “national security” report on auto imports

By Nick Beams, 21 February 2019

A Commerce Department investigation is believed to state that auto imports constitute a “threat.”

No agreement on US-China trade with talks to continue

By Nick Beams, 16 February 2019

The next round will be virtually the last chance to reach a formal agreement before March 1, after which the US will increase tariffs—from 10 to 25 percent—on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Wealth concentration increases in US and globally

By Nick Beams, 15 February 2019

The top 1 percent in the US now owns about 40 percent of household wealth, increasing its share by at least 10 percentage points since 1989.

Bankruptcy judge approves sale of Sears to former CEO Edward Lampert for $5.2 billion

By Jacob Crosse, 11 February 2019

The beleaguered retail chain lives to die another day as remaining workers are left with an uncertain future

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.