Economy

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.”

Major Indian airline grounded, threatening 23,000 jobs

By Deepal Jayasekera, 23 April 2019

The crisis facing Jet Airways, and which has caused it to ground all its aircraft, is part of a global crisis of the aviation industry.

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.

Two giant German banks plan merger

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 12 April 2019

The German government is pushing for the combination of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to establish a financial behemoth capable of competing with the US and China.

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.

UK local councils sell off billions of pounds in public assets due to austerity

By Joe Mount, 5 April 2019

Since 2014, over 12,000 publicly-owned assets with a total value of over £9.1 billion have been sold off, including libraries, health clinics, youth centres and public spaces.

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.

Xi signs strategic EU-China deals amid growing EU-US tensions

By Alex Lantier, 29 March 2019

Rome’s endorsement of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the face of explicit US disapproval points to deep tensions between US and European imperialism.

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.

Turkish economy falls into recession, amid fears of further US economic reprisals

By Baris Demir, 26 March 2019

The Turkish lira depreciated by more than 5 percent last Friday, just nine days before nationwide local elections in which the ruling AKP is expected to suffer significant losses.

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.

Fiction and reality: The Italian Five-Star Movement’s citizen income scheme

By Marianne Arens, 22 March 2019

The “reddito di cittadinanza” (citizen income) is a vanity project of the co-governing Five-Star Movement that will not change Italy’s stark social inequality.

French public sector strikes; further protests in Algeria; union ends wage strike at South Africa’s Sibanye Gold without an agreement

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

22 March 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

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.

European Central Bank announces major policy reversal

By Nick Beams, 8 March 2019

The decision by the ECB came as a result of what President Marion Draghi characterised as “substantial” downward revision of growth estimates for the region.

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.”

British retail sector continues shedding thousands of jobs

By Simon Whelan, 2 March 2019

Some 19,000 high street jobs have been lost or put at risk in the two months since Christmas.

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.

Despite talk of “progress” in trade negotiations

Deep divisions remain between US and China

By Nick Beams, 26 February 2019

The key point in US demands on any agreement is that China opposes a unilateral decision on compliance by Washington, insisting it must be determined by a joint evaluation.

Trump announces delay in China tariff deadline

By Nick Beams, 25 February 2019

Trump said that if “additional progress” were made in the negotiations, he would plan a summit meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping.

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.

Worsening slump and inequality fuel social tensions in Australia

By Mike Head, 13 February 2019

Growing signs of a global downturn and a domestic slump saw Australia’s central bank suddenly reverse course on interest rates.

As China-US trade deadline nears

Global economic war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 12 February 2019

Prospects for a US-China trade deal took a blow last Thursday when US President Donald Trump ruled out a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping before the expiration of a March 1 deadline.

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

US-China trade talks to resume as deadline nears

By Nick Beams, 8 February 2019

While the Trump administration put a degree of positive “spin” on last month’s discussions, little progress has been reported on the key US demands.

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.