US Economy

Wealth of world’s billionaires soars amid stock market surge

By Shannon Jones, 22 March 2017

In 2016 the combined wealth of the world’s richest individuals rose 18 percent to a staggering $7.67 trillion.

Trump budget to fund wider wars by slashing domestic spending

By Patrick Martin, 17 March 2017

The budget proposes to increase spending on the military and homeland security by nearly $60 billion, while slashing spending on the environment and social programs.

US Fed lifts interest rate and reassures markets

By Nick Beams, 16 March 2017

The US stock markets rose after the Federal Reserve increased interest rates by 0.25 percent but concerns were voiced over the divergence between the world’s three major central banks.

RadioShack closing 187 more stores

By James Brewer, 11 March 2017

This announcement follows on the heels of thousands of job losses, giving the lie to the optimistic jobs report by the Labor Department.

Trump steps up trade war agenda

By Nick Beams, 28 February 2017

The objective logic of Trump’s agenda of economic war, based on “America First” leads inexorably to military conflict.

Trump’s “America First” policies and the global eruption of economic nationalism

By Nick Beams, 21 February 2017

Speaking on behalf of European capital, the London-based Financial Times has described the trade policies of the Trump administration as a “clear and present danger” to the global trading and monetary system.

US stocks hit new highs following Senate testimony by Fed chief

By Barry Grey, 15 February 2017

While Yellen defended the Dodd-Frank banking law, she repeatedly stated her support for “mitigating” the regulatory “burden” on financial firms.

US Senate confirms former Goldman Sachs executive as Treasury secretary

By Patrick Martin, 14 February 2017

The vote came as the stock market roared ahead, hailing Trump’s promises of a bonanza for US corporations and banks through the cutting of taxes and regulations.

GM makes $9.4 billion in global profits as it slashes thousands of jobs

By Jerry White, 8 February 2017

GM is doling out $14 billion in stock buybacks even as it lays off 3,300 workers in Michigan and Ohio.

Trump issues orders to roll back bank regulations

By Barry Grey, 4 February 2017

Nothing could more clearly expose the farce of Trump's pretensions to be a champion of the American worker than his drive to lift all restraints on the financial oligarchy.

Amid trade war rhetoric from White House, Fed holds interest rates steady

By Barry Grey, 2 February 2017

The central bank's deliberations were dominated by uncertainty over the course of both the US and world economy as a result of Trump's "America First" trade and monetary policies.

US growth rate lowest in five years

By Nick Beams, 30 January 2017

The lowest US growth rate in five years and the record 20,000 high for the Dow highlight the ever-widening disconnect between the financial system and the underlying economy.

Wall Street’s Trump euphoria propels Dow above 20,000

By Barry Grey, 26 January 2017

The surge was buoyed by Trump’s promises of massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich, the wholesale lifting of business regulations, a massive expansion of military spending, and the prospect of a full-scale attack on social programs.

Trump scraps TPP and outlines trade war agenda

By Mike Head, 23 January 2017

Ending the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a retreat into US isolationism but a ramping up of the offensive, commenced under Obama, to reassert American hegemony in Asia.

Canada’s ruling elite braces for reopening of NAFTA

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 21 January 2017

The Trudeau Liberal government intends to deepen Canada’s military-strategic cooperation with Washington so as to ensure privileged market access for Canada in a Trump-led America.

Trump signals shift on “strong dollar”

By Nick Beams, 19 January 2017

Trump’s remarks to the Wall Street Journal were in line with the anti-China rhetoric that marked his election campaign.

US Millennials face higher unemployment, lower income than parents’ generation

By Shelley Connor, 16 January 2017

While the media glowingly reviews Obama’s legacy over the last eight years, sobering reports point to significant declines in living standards among young people.

In wake of Trump election victory

US banks report massive fourth quarter profits

By Gabriel Black, 16 January 2017

Bank share prices and profits have surged in anticipation of the installation of Trump, who has packed his cabinet with Wall Street insiders and pledged to remove regulations.

New year opens with wave of layoffs in the US

By Jerry White, 9 January 2017

The Ohio-based retailer The Limited’s decision to close 250 stores and eliminate 4,000 jobs follows store-closing announcements by Macy’s and Sears.

US jobs report shows lower than expected hiring in December

By Tom Hall, 7 January 2017

The December jobs report for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that the American economy added 156,000 jobs last month, less than the 175,000 expected by economists.

Macy’s, Sears announce mass layoffs, hundreds of store closings across the US

By Niles Niemuth, 6 January 2017

The closings and layoffs are an indication of the actual state of the economy, more than seven years after the beginning of the supposed economic “recovery.”

Uncertainty over Trump program dominated Fed meeting

By Nick Beams, 6 January 2017

The Federal Reserve open market committee forecast a gradual rise in interest rates, and made clear it would take action to prevent wages from rising substantially.

World’s richest increased their wealth by $237 billion in 2016

By Nick Beams, 29 December 2016

US billionaires alone have increased their wealth by $77 billion due to the rise in the stock market since the election of Trump less than two months ago.

Homeownership rates at historic lows for young people in the US

By Nick Barrickman, 22 December 2016

Recent reports reveal that homeownership levels for young people have dropped to record lows in the years following the 2008 financial crisis.

General Motors announces mass layoffs of workers in the US

By Jerry White, 21 December 2016

In its latest layoff announcement, the largest US automaker said it would eliminate the second shift at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, wiping out 1,200 jobs.

Christmas on Wall Street: The Dow closes in on 20,000

By Barry Grey, 21 December 2016

The American corporate elite anticipates that Trump will remove all constraints on its ability to plunder American society for personal gain.

Federal Reserve hikes key rate, signals faster monetary tightening

By Barry Grey, 15 December 2016

Despite the Fed’s pledge to keep interest rates below previous norms, there were indications that, in the face of Trump’s inflationary policies, it could move quickly in the opposite direction.

Study on pay for young adults highlights plunge in US living standards

By Niles Niemuth, 12 December 2016

It is the social catastrophe, rooted in the decline of American capitalism, that underlies the political crisis of both big-business parties and will lead to immense social convulsions.

Markets pushed to record highs on Trump surge

By Nick Beams, 12 December 2016

The chief component in the rise in the Dow over the past month has been a 33 percent surge in shares of Goldman Sachs, accounting for 29 percent of the stock index’s ascent.

US Congress overwhelmingly backs $619 billion Pentagon budget

By Bill Van Auken, 5 December 2016

The legislation, which won overwhelming bipartisan approval, also bars the shutdown of the American prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

West Virginia governor orders $60 million in budget cuts

By Joe McGee, 5 December 2016

The state’s most vulnerable residents will be hit with an $11 million cut in public schools and a supposed one-time reduction of $25 million to Medicaid.

November jobs report highlights impact of Obama’s eight-year assault on the working class

By Niles Niemuth, 3 December 2016

Even as the official unemployment rate continues to fall, wage growth remains limited and the labor force participation rate for working-age adults is far below what it was before 2009.

The 19,000 Dow: Markets soar on prospects for profiteering under Trump

By Nick Beams, 24 November 2016

Trump’s agenda for the US economy bears a striking resemblance to his own business operations: a mixture of tax evasion, swindling and profit-gouging.

Insurance fund for US pensions could be insolvent by 2025, agency director warns

By Gabriel Black, 22 November 2016

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s annual report points to the growing danger of a general collapse in the US pension system.

Fed set to lift key interest rate

By Nick Beams, 19 November 2016

The rise in interest rates and US bond yields could have major international implications, particularly for emerging markets.

Dow hits record high as Wall Street celebrates Trump victory

By Nick Beams, 11 November 2016

The sharp rise in stock prices is being driven both by Trump’s pro-corporate policies and the support he has received from the Democratic Party establishment.

Big market swings after Trump's election

By Nick Beams, 10 November 2016

After initial fears of a market plunge, Wall Street reached near-record highs as investors decided that Trump’s policies could provide a road to increased wealth.

Election eve US jobs report reflects continuing stagnation

By Barry Grey, 5 November 2016

The decline in the official unemployment rate to 4.9 percent was not the result of workers joining the labor force and finding jobs, but the departure of 425,000 more working-age Americans.

Fed keeps rates on hold as disarray over central bank policies increases

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2016

The US Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold amid continuing uncertainty about the direction of policies in Europe and Japan.

US mergers set new record in October

By Barry Grey, 29 October 2016

The extraordinary level of mergers and the scale of the combinations are expressions of economic stagnation and the growth of financial parasitism.

The gig economy: More than 160 million in US and EU rely on “independent work”

By Genevieve Leigh, 29 October 2016

Up to 162 million individuals in the US and the EU work as contractors.

AT&T-Time Warner merger to expand corporate, state control of media

By Barry Grey, 24 October 2016

If the merger goes through, this quasi-state entity will be in a position to directly control the content of much of the news and entertainment accessed by the public.

Fed Chair Yellen speaks in Boston: An admission of perplexity and impotence

By Nick Beams, 17 October 2016

A conference convened by the Boston Federal Reserve revealed that neither the Fed nor bourgeois economics in general has an answer to the stagnation of the US and global economy.

IMF cuts growth forecasts for major economies

By Nick Beams, 5 October 2016

The International Monetary Fund has warned of a “deflationary trap” where further cuts in interest rates cannot provide a stimulus to the world economy.

Slowdown in growth of trade highlights global economic stagnation

By Nick Beams, 29 September 2016

Both the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund warned of an increase in protectionist measures alongside a fall in the rate of world trade growth.

Walmart to cut 7,000 back-office jobs in the US

By Jessica Goldstein, 29 September 2016

The announcement of mass layoffs at the largest employer in the US comes amid a wave of cuts in the retail industry.

Deutsche Bank plunge sparks talk of “Lehman moment”

By Nick Beams, 27 September 2016

The turmoil surrounding Deutsche Bank is only the sharpest expression of a crisis gripping the whole of the European banking system.

Pennsylvania workers’ wages decline while rich become richer

By Douglas Lyons, 26 September 2016

A recent report underscores the economic decline workers have experienced over the past half century while the super-rich carried out a “radical redistribution” of wealth.

NASDAQ hits record after US and Japanese central banks signal continued stimulus

By Nick Beams, 22 September 2016

Global stocks rallied as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revised down its global growth estimate, citing weak trade growth and lower productivity.

Markets too dependent on central banks, BIS warns

By Nick Beams, 20 September 2016

Amid signs of increased volatility, the Bank for International Settlements issued another warning that financial markets rely too much on central banks.

Wells Fargo executive overseeing fraud receives $124.6 million retirement

By Gabriel Black, 17 September 2016

Carrie Tolstedt has made tens of millions overseeing massive consumer fraud as Wells Fargo’s Vice President for community banking.

Further considerations on the household income report: Poverty and inequality in America

By Patrick Martin, 15 September 2016

The Obama administration and the Democratic Party have seized on the latest Census Bureau report as support for their bogus claims of a genuine economic recovery.

The 2008 crisis and the lessons of history

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2016

The ensuing eight years have shown that the financial crisis of 2008 was not a conjunctural downturn but a breakdown in the very foundations of the global capitalist economy.

Turbulence returns to financial markets

By Nick Beams, 13 September 2016

There are warnings that the rise in bond prices could turn into a rout with significant losses for investors.

Drone Valley: The University of California and the business of high-tech slaughter

By Toby Reese, 12 September 2016

The appointment of a number of new academics and scientists to the University of California, San Diego’s (UCSD) Contextual Robotics Institute is bound up with the US drive to war.

Wells Fargo bank fined for account and credit card fraud

By Nick Beams, 9 September 2016

Questions are sure to asked as to how a bank, supposedly with tight internal controls and reviews, did not know about the creation of two million fake accounts.

Fears of rising social opposition hung over G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 6 September 2016

At the conclusion of the summit, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde also addressed these issues warning that economic growth had been “too low for too long for too few.”

Mass layoff at Harley-Davidson in York, Pennsylvania

By Douglas Lyons, 5 September 2016

Harley-Davidson has recently announced approximately 200 workers will be laid off due to declining profits.

US lost 14,000 manufacturing jobs in August

By Shelley Connor, 3 September 2016

The publication of a lackluster jobs report by the Labor Department followed the announcement by Wal-Mart that it plans to slash 7,000 jobs.

IMF issues warning on global growth to G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 2 September 2016

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has said the world economy could suffer from “disappointing growth for a long time to come.”

“The union is letting the company do what it wants”

Fiat Chrysler CEO issues threat to Detroit jeep workers

By Shannon Jones, 1 September 2016

In a not so veiled warning, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchione told Jefferson North workers last week that the status of their facility is up in the air.

Obama success story: Third biggest stock market boom since 1900

By E.P. Bannon, 31 August 2016

The Obama bull market is the product of years of pro-corporate, anti-working class policies, including the bailout of the banks and attacks on wages and benefits.

Growing perplexity as central bankers confront permanent stagnation

By Nick Beams, 30 August 2016

With the business cycle set to enter a “dangerous” phase, central bankers are concerned that interest rates are already so low they will not be able to counter any economic downturn.

No end to central bank subsidies for financial markets

Fed chair lays out long-term scenario of economic stagnation

By Barry Grey, 27 August 2016

Yellen all but acknowledged that low levels of economic growth and extreme financial instability were permanent features of the US and world capitalist economy.

Air of crisis overhangs central bankers’ meeting

By Nick Beams, 26 August 2016

The central bankers and financial authorities gathered at Jackson Hole have no economic answer to the crisis of the profit system over which they preside.

Fed divided on policy amid warnings over state of global bond markets

By Nick Beams, 19 August 2016

Underlying the divisions in the Federal Reserve is the lack of any clear understanding of where the US economy is heading.

Cisco to cut 5,500 jobs, adding to wave of US tech layoffs

By Barry Grey, 19 August 2016

So far this year, American technology companies have eliminated 63,000 jobs.

As growth prospects fall, US markets hit record high

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2016

The rise in the markets and the underlying weakening of the real economy are interconnected phenomena as finance seeks to accumulate profits through parasitism.

The impact of financial parasitism

Record US share prices amid economic slump and social decay

By Barry Grey, 13 August 2016

The surge in stock and bond prices has come amid mounting indications of stagnation in the real economy and a worsening social crisis.

Signs of slowdown in US auto industry

By Shannon Jones, 13 August 2016

Ford, General Motors and Toyota recorded sales declines in July.

Wall Street celebrates mass layoffs by Macy’s

By Patrick Martin, 12 August 2016

The largest US department store chain announced it would close 100 stores, which will likely eliminate more than 12,000 jobs.

Trump speech in Detroit: Tax cuts for the wealthy combined with nationalist demagogy

By Patrick Martin, 10 August 2016

Both Clinton and Trump are fully committed to increasing the wealth of the corporate and financial elite at the expense of working people.

Clinton, Obama tout tepid US jobs report

By Shannon Jones, 6 August 2016

A closer look at the employment numbers for July reveals many indications of continuing economic stagnation and deepening hardship for wide layers of the population.

US homeownership rate falls to lowest level in 51 years

By Gabriel Black, 3 August 2016

Declining household income and rising rent prices are preventing workers and young people from owning homes.

Slowdown in US, global economy

By Tom Eley, 1 August 2016

Second-quarter gross domestic product figures for the US and Europe show a further slowing in economic growth and business investment.

Farm equipment giant John Deere lays off 120 workers as sales plummet

By George Gallanis, 1 August 2016

The third round of layoffs in 2016 raises the total number of workers cut by Deere in the US to 2,000 over the last two years.

US government investigates allegations Fiat-Chrysler falsified sales figures

By Shannon Jones, 23 July 2016

The auto company confirmed that it is under investigation by both the SEC and the FBI for an alleged scheme to pad its monthly sales totals.

Study shows funding down, tuition up at US public universities and colleges

By Buster Haycook, 22 July 2016

Years of cuts in state funding for public colleges and universities have driven up tuition and have led to faculty reductions, fewer course offerings and campus closings.

Incomes declining or stagnant for the vast majority in “rich” countries

By Gabriel Black, 16 July 2016

A new report from McKinsey Global Institute finds that for most people in the advanced capitalist countries there has been no recovery from the 2008 Wall Street crash.

US Justice Department blocked prosecution of HSBC bank for drug cartel money laundering

By Gabriel Black, 15 July 2016

The House Financial Services Committee report makes clear that the Obama administration’s failure to hold criminally liable a single leading Wall Street figure is the result of a highly conscious and systematic policy.

US unemployment rate rises despite rebound in new jobs

By Tom Hall, 9 July 2016

The number of people counted as unemployed actually increased by 347,000, a higher figure than the number of jobs added.

IMF chief points to war danger

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2016

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde warned against the dangers posed by the prospect of a “wave of protectionism.”

Economic inequality soars in US

By Patrick Martin, 2 July 2016

Average incomes of the top 1 percent rose twice as fast as the incomes of the remaining 99 percent of Americans in 2015.

Brexit vote highlights deepening crisis in global economy

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2016

The Brexit outcome has revealed acute problems in the “quantitative easing” program that the world’s major central banks have used to sustain the global financial system over the past eight years.

Dow Chemical slashes 2,500 jobs ahead of DuPont merger

By our reporter, 30 June 2016

The layoffs, which will hit workers in Michigan, North Carolina and Japan, are just the beginning of the bloodletting being prepared by the merging chemical giants.

Illinois public sector devastated as budget impasse approaches one-year mark

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 June 2016

Many parts of state and local government will soon run out of money as the Democratic-controlled state legislature and the Republican governor continue wrangling over how to slash public services.

Financial market turmoil continues in wake of Brexit vote

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2016

British government leaders have issued statements claiming they have the situation under control, but to no avail as financial markets continue to plummet.

After Brexit, mounting warnings of global slump and financial panic

By Andre Damon, 27 June 2016

The ongoing sell-off in global financial markets comes amid a chorus of warnings by international institutions that the world economy faces a deepening crisis.

Reports document social crisis

US wages and jobs decline, inequality rises

By Patrick Martin, 23 June 2016

Two reports issued over the past week shed light on the deepening social crisis in the United States and the deteriorating economic position of the working class.

IMF cuts estimates for US economic growth and points to worsening long-term trends

By Nick Beams, 23 June 2016

The IMF’s latest report on the US economy highlights “pernicious” tendencies that will impact heavily on growth and economic well-being.

On eve of Brexit referendum, mounting warnings of global trade war

By Andre Damon, 22 June 2016

The World Trade Organization warned that protectionist measures by leading economies has hit the highest level on records dating back to 2009.

The return of “secular stagnation”

By Nick Beams, 17 June 2016

Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen’s comments on Wednesday pointed to the emergence of “secular stagnation” in the global economy, a term first developed in the 1930s.

Fed holds interest rates amid mounting global turmoil

By Nick Beams, 16 June 2016

The Fed decision to keep interest rates on hold is an expression of the fact that what were once considered “normal” operations of the capitalist economy are breaking down.

Markets applaud speech by Fed Chair Yellen signaling delay in rate hikes

By Barry Grey, 8 June 2016

The response of markets to signs of economic distress and signals that the Fed will keep cheap credit flowing was typical of the period since the financial crash—relief and exultation.

US economy adds fewest jobs in five years

By Evan Blake, 4 June 2016

The US economy added only 38,000 jobs in May, the fewest since 2010, in another indication of the persistent slump gripping the US economy.

Economic conflicts threaten global trade war

By Nick Beams, 3 June 2016

The decision by the US International Trade Commission to launch an investigation into 40 Chinese steel producers has far-reaching implications.

US death rate rose in 2015

By Niles Niemuth, 2 June 2016

The mortality rate in the United States increased across the board last year, reflecting the impact of mass unemployment, austerity, stagnating wages and benefit cuts.

Warnings of slump in US economy

By Nick Beams, 28 May 2016

Falling investment and declining productivity threaten to trap the US economy in what commentators are calling a “low-growth mode.”

Currency conflicts surface at G-7 meeting

By Nick Beams, 23 May 2016

As with other major economic summits in the recent period, the weekend meeting of the G-7 could reach no agreement on co-ordinated measures to halt the stagnation of the global economy.

Sports Authority to close all stores, lay off 16,000

By George Gallanis, 21 May 2016

The announcement by Sports Authority (SA) follows a wave of recent closures from other retail companies.