Economy

Another downward swing on Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 6 March 2020

The gyrations in global stock markets have focused attention on underlying trends that are creating the conditions for another financial crisis on the scale of 2008 or even larger.

The number of ultrawealthy individuals is growing dramatically on a world scale

By Kevin Reed, 6 March 2020

A new report by the consulting firm Knight Frank shows that the number of super-wealthy people in the world—those with more than $30 million in assets—is projected to increase by 27 percent over the next five years.

Workers to pay the price as Australia joins global slide into recession

By Mike Head, 5 March 2020

The Covid-19 disaster has not yet resulted in large-scale sickness in Australia, but major companies are already unveiling job cuts due to the global impact on production, trade and travel.

Democratic billionaire governor of Illinois proposes austerity budget

By Brian Walker and Alexander Fangmann, 5 March 2020

Minuscule spending increases in K-12 education and social services would be conditional on passage of a constitutional amendment instituting a graduated income tax in the November election.

Fed cuts interest rate, but market plunge resumes

By Nick Beams, 4 March 2020

The Fed rate cut, unanimously agreed to at a teleconference on Monday evening, was the first carried out between scheduled meetings since the financial crisis of 2008.

Japanese government facing growing criticism over Covid-19 outbreak

By Ben McGrath, 3 March 2020

Prime Minister Abe has been accused of inaction will the virus spreads in the hopes of minimizing the impact on the economy.

Governments skimp on funds to fight the coronavirus, open cash spigots for the banks

By Andre Damon, 3 March 2020

While only a pittance is available to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens to kill millions of people, unlimited funds are being made available to bail out the financial elite.

Record fall in key China production index

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2020

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced over the weekend that the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 35.7 in February, down from 50 in January, hitting an all-time low.

Stock market fall continues at record speed

By Nick Beams, 29 February 2020

One somewhat stunned investment funds manager told the Wall Street Journal: “This has been really quick, really deep, and in some respects unbelievable.”

German department store chain Real to be broken up, threatening 34,000 jobs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 29 February 2020

The new owners have announced that they will not retain a single store for longer than two years if necessary.

Coronavirus spread sparks “bloodbath” on Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 28 February 2020

Wall Street is down more than 10 percent from the record highs of last week and the S&P 500 index has experienced its sharpest ever fall from an all-time record.

The coronavirus pandemic and the need for global socialized medicine

By Alex Lantier, 27 February 2020

A planned, rational deployment of worldwide medical and industrial resources is essential to keep the disease from potentially claiming millions of lives.

Wall Street falls as coronavirus spreads

By Nick Beams, 26 February 2020

After reaching record highs last week, the major indexes have lost all their gains for the year, wiping out some $2.1 trillion from share values.

OECD sounds corporate debt warning

By Nick Beams, 24 February 2020

The OECD pointed to an “unprecedented build-up of corporate bond debt” since the financial crisis of 2008 with an increase of $2.1 trillion in 2019 alone.

General Motors receives 75 percent local tax abatement for Lordstown battery plant

By Tom Hall, 22 February 2020

The new battery plant will employ only 1,100 workers making between $15 and $17 per hour—only a quarter of the number who once worked at the now-shuttered Lordstown Assembly Plant.

China denounces US “lies” at the Munich Security Conference

By Peter Symonds, 19 February 2020

Beijing’s blunt language is an attempt to counter Washington’s relentless propaganda offensive and also to seek support from the European powers.

McClatchy newspaper chain files for bankruptcy

By Jessica Goldstein, 19 February 2020

A planned takeover of McClatchy by Chatham Asset Management will mean that the vast majority of US newspapers will be controlled by Wall Street financial firms.

Markets soar as companies announce mass layoffs

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2020

The impoverishment of the working class is not an accidental outcome of the accumulation of wealth by a rapacious financial oligarchy—the two are directly linked.

US: Wayfair, Tripadvisor and other tech companies announce layoffs

By Mike Ingram, 18 February 2020

The two companies headquartered in Massachusetts announced layoffs as investors demand profitability while at least eight Bay Area tech companies have alerted the state government of job losses totaling 1,100 positions.

Chinese government defends its response to coronavirus

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 February 2020

Beijing has come under fire from the international community, as well as its citizens, for mishandling the early stages of the outbreak.

US threatens Europe over Huawei at Munich Security Conference

By Andre Damon, 17 February 2020

After the UK, France and Germany announced they would not ban Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from their networks, US officials sought to threaten their NATO allies into changing course.

Eurozone growth slows to lowest level in seven years

By Nick Beams, 17 February 2020

The chief driving force of the downturn is the fall in industrial production, with Eurostat reporting last week that output fell 2.1 percent in December, bringing the total decline for the year to 4.1 percent.

Trump nominee in doubt for Federal Reserve position

By Nick Beams, 15 February 2020

The Shelton nomination has attracted elevated attention because she is viewed as a potential choice by Trump for the position of Fed chair if he wins re-election and decides to oust the current chair Jerome Powell.

Trump’s “Blue Collar Boom”: Myth vs Reality

By Tom Hall, 15 February 2020

The reality of American social life is very different than the fantasy of a “blue-collar boom” which Trump delivered during last week’s State of the Union address.

US brings new charges against Chinese telecom giant Huawei

By Nick Beams, 14 February 2020

The unveiling of new charges underscores the distinctive approach taken by the US state towards what are in essence commercial disputes.

Workers at GM’s Silao, Mexico plant charge union with stuffing ballots during recognition vote

By Andrea Lobo, 14 February 2020

The effort by General Motors and the Confederation of Mexican Workers to certify their contract at the Silao complex is a warning to workers across Mexico about the anti-democratic content of the government’s supposed labor reforms.

Market surge continues ahead of confirmation hearings for New York Fed Governor nominee

By Nick Beams, 13 February 2020

Markets are soaring as the Federal Reserve makes clear it stands ready to inject still more cheap money into the financial system in the event of any significant market downturn.

Coronavirus could deliver major hit to world economy

By Nick Beams, 12 February 2020

Despite a return to work in some areas, major Chinese regions have taken on a “ghost-town ambience.”

Recession warnings fuel political instability in Australia

By Mike Head, 12 February 2020

The bushfire and coronavirus disasters have had an enormous economic and social impact.

Trump’s budget proposal: A new offensive in the social counterrevolution

By Eric London, 12 February 2020

The announcement begins the staged process in which the Democratic Party feigns indignation over the proposed cuts only to ultimately accede to many of the demands.

Thousands of students affected by New Zealand’s anti-Chinese travel ban

By Tom Peters, 11 February 2020

A student who spoke to the WSWS described the travel ban, ostensibly aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus, as a “dream come true” for the NZ First Party and other right-wing nationalists.

As Brazilian oil workers’ strike grows, Labor Court rules it “abusive”

By Gabriel Lemos, 11 February 2020

The Brazilian ruling elite fears that the strike at the state-owed oil giant Petrobras will spread to other sections of public and private sector workers.

Ford shakes up management, prepares for more cuts after 99 percent profit decline

By Marcus Day, 11 February 2020

Ford’s falling profits and management reshuffling herald an acceleration of the company’s years-long turnaround plan and attacks on workers globally.

John Deere announces layoffs at Iowa plant

By George Gallanis, 11 February 2020

Since announcing plans last August to cut costs and boost profits as part of its drive for “organizational efficiency,” Deere has laid off 220 workers at plants across Illinois and Iowa.

The coronavirus pandemic: A global disaster

By Bryan Dyne, 11 February 2020

The coronavirus contagion has become a disaster and a tragedy for the tens of thousands infected and the tens of millions who remain under quarantine.

Trump outlines massive cuts in Medicaid and Medicare in 2021 budget plan

By Kevin Reed, 10 February 2020

The Trump administration is scheduled to release a 2021 budget plan on Monday that includes deep reductions in entitlement programs and other mandatory spending while increasing funding for the military and the Department of Homeland Security.

Coronavirus to have deep impact on global economy

By Nick Beams, 8 February 2020

The US Federal Reserve warned that “possible spillovers from the effects of the coronavirus in China have presented a new risk to the outlook.”

Warnings issued over share market surge

By Nick Beams, 7 February 2020

In a speech this week, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Philip Lowe pointed to the growing risks posed by the cheap money policies of the world’s central banks.

GM workers denounce forced overtime imposed with UAW collusion

By George Kirby and Tim Rivers, 7 February 2020

Workers from General Motors Customer Care & Aftersales facilities and other factories in Michigan are angered by continuous forced overtime imposed in the aftermath of the 2019 UAW sellout contract.

BorgWarner buys Delphi as mergers in global auto industry slash thousands of jobs

By Tim Rivers, 7 February 2020

The move by BorgWarner is the latest step in the vast restructuring of the industry, as carmakers and supplies scramble to dominate the emerging electrical and autonomous vehicle markets.

Kahatagaha miners in Sri Lanka must fight for socialist policies

By Naveen Dewage, 7 February 2020

The three-day walkout by graphite miners in defiance of their unions indicates the increasing radicalisation of the working class and the rapid break up of illusions in the new government.

Wall Street rises as coronavirus weighs heavily on global economy

By Nick Beams, 5 February 2020

Economic activity is at a virtual standstill in at least 21 Chinese provinces which account for 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 90 percent of its exports.

Sharp fall on Wall Street as coronavirus hits global markets

By Nick Beams, 1 February 2020

Financial analysts are warning that the virus has created a more uncertain environment than the US-China trade war and its impact could be greater than that of the SARS virus in 2002–2003.

Amid impeachment, Trump signs North American trade deal passed with Democratic support

By Tom Hall, 30 January 2020

The bipartisan support for the USMCA shows that all factions in Washington agree on an intensification of economic conflict with China.

Brazilian President Bolsonaro guest of honor at India’s Republic Day

By Tomas Castanheira, 30 January 2020

Modi advocated a “strategic partnership” based on “similar ideology and similar values.”

Coronavirus provokes turbulence on global stock markets

By Nick Beams, 29 January 2020

With China contributing about one third of total growth, the world economy as a whole will feel the effects.

Private equity firm to purchase the assets of the .ORG domain registry for $1 billion

By Kevin Reed, 27 January 2020

Opposition is growing to the plan by the Internet Society, the non-profit organization responsible for managing the standards and protocols of the internet, to sell the top-level domain registry .ORG to the private equity firm Ethos Capital for $1.135 billion.

At Davos, Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government shows the banks its credentials

By Alejandro López, 27 January 2020

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Pedro Sánchez reiterated that his new Spanish Socialist Party coalition government with Podemos is committed to austerity.

Despite thousands of job cuts, General Motors will receive $2.28 billion in Michigan tax credits

By Jessica Goldstein, 27 January 2020

The deal with the Michigan Strategic Fund board includes a modest reduction in the tax credit in exchange for the “flexibility” to cut more jobs.

Sri Lankan president announces major tax concessions for foreign investors

By W.A. Sunil, 24 January 2020

Colombo has reactivated its Strategic Development Projects Act in a desperate attempt to boost foreign direct investment.

Trump puts Europe in his sights for trade war

By Nick Beams, 23 January 2020

The stepped-up offensive was foreshadowed in Trump’s keynote address to the Davos annual meeting in which he said the US had pioneered “a new model for trade in the 21st century.”

Canadian judge begins hearing Washington’s geopolitically explosive demand for extradition of top Huawei executive

By Roger Jordan, 23 January 2020

Canadian authorities seized Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the behest of Washington, which is seeking her extradition on the basis of bogus fraud charges.

Growing fears of global debt crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2020

As the global oligarchy assembles at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, there are mounting warning signs that global debt, fueled by cheap money from central banks, is a ticking time bomb.

Northam’s Virginia budget: Democrat gives a pittance to workers, lion’s share to wealthy

By Nick Barrickman and Elias Mahonen, 21 January 2020

The budget would give paltry increases in healthcare subsidies and teacher wages while doing nothing to undercut the state government’s support for big business.

The oligarchs assemble at Davos

By Niles Niemuth, 21 January 2020

The bankers, corporate executives and heads of state attending the World Economic Forum this week look on with fear at the eruption of social opposition all over the world.

Climate change “spin” as Davos gathering confronts mounting environmental and economic crisis

By Nick Beams, 20 January 2020

The picture presented by the WEF’s own analysis is of a socio-economic system heading for catastrophe on every front, for which the ruling elites have no answer.

Tesla under investigation by US government for defect that caused over 100 crashes

By Jessica Goldstein, 20 January 2020

The serious allegations of safety problems with Tesla’s vehicles and the suffering of the workers who build them are bound up with the subordination of the means of production to the capitalist system.

Amid poverty wages and tax cuts for the rich

JPMorgan Chase records the biggest profit of any bank in US history

By Gabriel Black, 18 January 2020

The profit bonanza on Wall Street is the outcome of a bipartisan drive to enrich the financial elite at the expense of the working class.

US and UK clash over Huawei involvement in 5G rollout

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2020

The rollout of 5G broadband wireless networks globally is becoming an arena for the eruption of geopolitical tensions.

US-China trade deal leaves basic conflict festering

By Mike Head, 16 January 2020

The “phase one” pact does not address the core demands issued by Washington for the wholesale restructuring of the Chinese economy.

Central banks losing firepower to counter recession

By Nick Beams, 9 January 2020

The key message from the annual meeting of the American Economic Association last weekend was that central banks do not have the tools to cope with a world of low inflation and low interest rates.

Transatlantic digital tax trade war looms

By Nick Beams, 7 January 2020

France has warned of retaliation if US imposes tariffs on exports.

Russia, Ukraine reach last minute gas transit deal

By Jason Melanovski, 4 January 2020

The EU pushed for the Ukraine and Russia to accept a deal following the US announcement of sanctions against the Russian-German pipeline Nord Stream 2.

Trump sets date for signing of “phase one” trade deal with China

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2020

The signing of the “phase one” deal would not bring an end to the US trade war against China launched in May 2018 but is merely a limited truce.

Share market boom masks another financial crisis in the making

By Nick Beams, 30 December 2019

The year 2019 will go down in economic history as the great turnaround, when the world’s major central banks gave up on their attempt to return to “normal” monetary policy.

Billionaires’ wealth surged in 2019

By Barry Grey, 28 December 2019

The wealth of the world’s 500 richest people rose 25 percent in 2019, reaching a combined net worth of $5.9 trillion.

World Bank concerned about “global debt wave”

By Nick Beams, 21 December 2019

Since 2010, debt in developing economies has risen to a total of around 170 percent of their gross domestic product, up by 54 percentage points in just eight years.

Inequality and falling living standards fuel political “fragility” in Australia

By Mike Head, 21 December 2019

The financial elite’s enrichment has occurred at the direct expense of the wages, working conditions and social services of the working class.

One day after impeachment: Democrats back Trump trade, budget bills

By Patrick Martin, 20 December 2019

One day after the US House of Representatives adopted two articles of impeachment against President Trump, the House passed Trump’s top policy priority for 2019, the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, by a massive bipartisan margin.

Report finds US corporations paid “zero to negative” income tax rate in 2018

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 December 2019

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that 91 highly profitable Fortune 500 corporations paid zero or negative income taxes in 2018.

US-China deal a new phase in global trade war

By Nick Beams, 16 December 2019

In the longer term, the US wrecking operation against the World Trade Organisation is probably the most significant action in the global trade war.

US announces ”in principle” agreement on “phase one” US-China trade deal

By Nick Beams, 13 December 2019

Any reduction in US tariffs, will be accompanied by a so-called “snapback” provision under which they would be immediately re-imposed if it is determined that China is not abiding by its side of the deal

US trucking firm Celadon goes bankrupt leaving thousands of drivers stranded

By Steve Filips, 13 December 2019

The major logistics company closed without warning, leaving thousands of drivers stranded across the country and without jobs just before the holidays.

Amid turmoil in short-term money markets

Fed to keep interest rates lower for longer

By Nick Beams, 12 December 2019

The unanimous decision by the interest-rate setting Federal Open Market Committee came at the end of a year in which the financial markets dictated the central bank must provide cheap money.

Germany: IG Metall union announces further attacks on Daimler workers

By K. Nesan, 10 December 2019

With the help of the unions and their works council representative, the auto manufacturer wants to destroy 10,000 jobs by 2022.

“They are jamming this down our throats:” Fiat Chrysler workers denounce UAW for rushing vote on sellout contract

By Jerry White, 10 December 2019

Just days after dumping the thousand-page contract on its web site, the UAW is holding a series of snap votes which it plans to conclude by Wednesday.

Trump escalates global trade war

By Nick Beams, 4 December 2019

Responding to a question in London on whether there was a deadline for a trade deal with China, Trump said: “I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.”

Ten trillion dollars of US corporate debt set off alarm bells

By Nick Beams, 2 December 2019

One of the most significant features of the debt binge is the rise in purchase by companies of their own stock in order to boost share market valuations, with companies spending more than $3 trillion over the past five years for this purpose.

Australian bank chief resigns over money laundering charges

By Mike Head, 30 November 2019

This latest scandal does not directly involve cheating customers, but centres on allegations of evading official transaction-tracking measures.

A socialist response to the global jobs massacre in the auto industry

By Peter Schwarz, 29 November 2019

The announcement of 9,500 job cuts by the German automaker Audi is part of a global offensive against the jobs and living standards of autoworkers all over the world.

Renewed surge in US mergers

By Nick Beams, 28 November 2019

Last Monday alone, takeover deals amounting to more than $70 billion were announced as multinational firms sought to tighten their grip on the markets in which they operate.

German autoworkers protest as unions sanction wave of jobs cuts

By K. Nesan, 28 November 2019

Hardly a day passes without a large or small company announcing redundancies and savings measures in highly industrialize state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany.

UAW keeps FCA workers in the dark on contract talks, painting corruption exposures as “outside distractions”

By Marcus Day, 28 November 2019

In a letter to FCA workers Monday, UAW-FCA Vice President Cindy Estrada attempted to pretend as if the corruption scandal had no bearing on otherwise pristine negotiations.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union endorses ex-Hoffa lieutenant for union president

By Steve Filips and Tom Hall, 28 November 2019

TDU’s 180-degree turn behind the thuggish Sean O’Brien exposes the critical role it plays in propping up the authority the Teamsters bureaucracy.

After union surrenders, Telangana mobilizes police to bar “fired” TSRTC workers’ return

By Kranti Kumara, 28 November 2019

The unions instructed the 48,000 TSRTC workers to end their courageous anti-privatization strike and report for work Tuesday. But the government, intent on purging the workforce, barred their way.

Growing concerns over stability of the international monetary system

By Nick Beams, 27 November 2019

Fears of a possible financial crisis are being fuelled by the experiences of the past decade of monetary policy.

OECD cuts global growth forecast

By Nick Beams, 23 November 2019

The chief economist of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that “things are not really moving” and there was a danger that low growth could become “entrenched.”

Trump repeats threat to escalate tariffs if no China trade deal is reached

By Nick Beams, 21 November 2019

A major source of conflict is the maintenance of existing tariffs, with China demanding that all tariffs imposed after negotiations collapsed in May be removed and a mechanism be put in place to roll back those imposed before then.

Australian Strategic Forum tries to downplay danger of US-China conflict

By James Cogan, 21 November 2019

Warnings that US-China tensions could lead to war were largely dismissed by the majority of the forum speakers.

US Steel job cuts continue as it lays off workers in Indiana

By Jessica Goldstein, 19 November 2019

The recently announced layoffs are further proof that trade war measures are ultimately aimed against the working class around the world.

Fiat Chrysler workers face battle as FCA and UAW seek to maintain lowest labor costs

By Jerry White, 18 November 2019

After barely navigating past the opposition of GM and Ford workers, the UAW is now colluding with Fiat Chrysler executives to maintain the company’s cost advantage over its industry rivals.

Growth continues to slow in major economies

By Nick Beams, 15 November 2019

In its report on the latest figures from China, the world’s second largest economy, Bloomberg said the “engines of China’s economies are spluttering with exports falling, factory output slowing, investment at a record low and consumption coming off the boil.”

Trump threatens “substantial” increase in anti-China tariffs

By Nick Beams, 13 November 2019

In a speech to the New York Economic Club, Trump claimed, amid falling GDP numbers, that his administration had “launched an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before.”

Chicago Ford workers denounce UAW contract: “They want to monitor you every minute, every second”

By Marcus Day, 11 November 2019

Anger is growing since workers have learned that the deal would allow Ford to deploy the high-tech surveillance methods increasingly perfected by Amazon.

Trump rules out rollback of China tariffs

By Nick Beams, 11 November 2019

Trump’s remarks were in response to a statement by Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng that the two sides had agreed to reduce tariffs on each other’s goods as part of any agreement.

China-led trade bloc inches forward at Asian summit

By Mike Head, 11 November 2019

The formation of the RCEP would be a blow to Washington and its drive to isolate, militarily encircle and subjugate China.

Steel layoffs in US mount due to falling production and trade war

By Samuel Davidson, 11 November 2019

Growing layoffs at US Steel and other major US steel producers over the past three months, point to a further slowdown in manufacturing and the impact of Trump’s trade war.

Growing inequality risks social revolution, hedge fund chief warns

By Nick Beams, 8 November 2019

With one eye clearly on the upsurge in the class struggle around the world over the past months, including in the United States, hedge fund chief Ray Dalio told a business conference the growth of social inequality was a national emergency and urgent steps had to be taken to address it.

Wall Street at record highs as global growth slows

By Nick Beams, 7 November 2019

Surging stock prices amidst a slowing real economy show the class role of the central banks in supplying the financial elite with unlimited cash while workers' conditions continue to worsen.

Ford autoworkers denounce tentative deal as corruption scandal engulfs UAW leadership

By Marcus Day, 4 November 2019

The UAW-Ford deal allows for an unlimited number of buyouts of older production workers, facilitating a vast expansion of lower-paid temporary workers.