US Economy

Forty five million in poverty in the US

By Andre Damon, 17 September 2014

Figures released by the Census Bureau Tuesday showed that the number of people in poverty remained at the highest level on record, while household incomes stagnated last year.

Detroit charged $126 million by law firms and consultants in bankruptcy case

By Thomas Gaist, 17 September 2014

Jones Day, the former law firm of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, has charged the city nearly $50 million.

Six years since the Wall Street crash

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2014

Six years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the world economy has not only failed to recover, the conditions for a new financial catastrophe are in the making.

Potential RadioShack bankruptcy threatens 27,000 employees

By Gabriel Black, 13 September 2014

Electronics retailer RadioShack said Thursday that it is likely to file for bankruptcy unless it can secure a funding lifeline.

New Federal Reserve report

US median income has plunged, inequality has grown in Obama “recovery”

By Andre Damon, 6 September 2014

The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, released Thursday, shows that the income of a typical US household has fallen by 12 percent in just six years.

Year-low US job growth in August

By Andre Damon, 6 September 2014

The latest US jobs report shows that the US labor force participation rate fell to the lowest level in three and a half decades.

The Bank of America settlement and the “justice” of capitalism

By Andre Damon, 23 August 2014

The Obama administration’s latest settlement with Bank of America imposes a wrist-slap fine and shields bankers from prosecution.

US Fed chair Yellen seeks to “buy time” on monetary policy

By Nick Beams, 23 August 2014

Speaking at the Jackson Hole conference, Yellen tried to balance between the financial markets’ demands for continued cheap cash and pressure from within the Fed for a more normal policy.

Unemployment up in most US states

By Nick Barrickman, 20 August 2014

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that joblessness grew in 30 out of 51 states during July.

New report details depth of hunger crisis in the United States

By Shannon Jones, 19 August 2014

Fourteen percent of Americans rely on food pantries to feed themselves and their families.

Financial meltdown threatened by bankruptcy of any Wall Street bank

By Gabriel Black, 13 August 2014

The outcome of the 2008 crash and the government’s response has been a further concentration of economic power in the hands of the biggest banks.

Detroit mayor employs damage control as city prepares to resume water shutoffs

By Thomas Gaist, 13 August 2014

Mayor Mike Duggan's “10-point plan” is part of political maneuvers being orchestrated by Detroit’s political establishment to dampen popular outrage over mass water shutoffs

Obama’s “recovery” and the social crisis in America

By Andre Damon, 12 August 2014

While Obama and the political establishment proclaim economic “recovery,” new reports show that the majority of US households are worse off now than they were five years ago.

A “lost year” for Washington, DC economy

By Adam Soroka, 12 August 2014

Fewer than 6,000 jobs, the majority of which are low-paying, have been created in the DC area this year.

Fed Report: Most US families can't raise $400

By Andre Damon, 9 August 2014

More than two-thirds of Americans are no better off now than they were in the worst part of the 2008 downturn, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Friday.

Bank of America reaches $16 billion mortgage fraud settlement

By Gabriel Black, 9 August 2014

Bank of America’s deal with the Obama administration is designed to ensure that no banker will be prosecuted for the bank’s role in the criminal practices that crashed the world economy.

US markets in biggest fall for six months

By Nick Beams, 4 August 2014

US markets fell this week on fear that the Fed may tighten interest rates sooner than expected and a report showing a rise in labour costs.

New York judge upholds US efforts to seize emails from Microsoft

By Thomas Gaist, 4 August 2014

A New York judge ruled that the US government has jurisdiction over all data stored overseas by US companies.

Low turnout at Detroit “Water Affordability” stunt

By our reporters, 4 August 2014

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department held a public relations event on the city’s impoverished east side as it prepares to resume mass water shutoffs.

Mediocre US jobs report points to ongoing unemployment crisis

By Gabriel Black, 2 August 2014

The US economy added 209,000 jobs in July, below analysts’ predictions and less than the amount of jobs needed to keep up with population growth.

Wave of traffic fatalities in Detroit highlights disrepair of infrastructure

By Nick Barrickman, 2 August 2014

The increasing number of traffic accidents and fatalities takes place under conditions where Detroit’s public lighting system is collapsing.

US economy grew at 4.0 percent in second quarter

By Andre Damon, 31 July 2014

The US economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.0 percent in the second quarter, following a 2.1 percent contraction in the first three months of 2014.

Debt delinquency soars in US

By Andre Damon, 30 July 2014

About one-third of adults in the US—some 77 million people—have debt in collections, meaning it is six months past due or more.

The financial bubble economy

By Andre Damon, 28 July 2014

The open secret of the US economy is that the extraordinary rise in the stock markets is entirely disconnected from the real economy.

CEO says Boeing plans to keep its workers “cowering”

By Hector Cordon, 28 July 2014

In a discussion with Wall Street analysts on Boeing’s second quarter showing, CEO McNerney bragged that “employees will still be cowering” if he stays on a few more years as chief executive.

Washington, DC workers speak out against social inequality and rising costs of living

By Todd Mason, 25 July 2014

A new report documents the steep rise in social inequality that has developed in Washington, DC since the economic crisis of 2008

SEP rallies workers and youth against Detroit water shutoffs

By David Brown, 25 July 2014

The Socialist Equality Party and the Detroit Workers Committee held a rally at the water department’s central facility even as city officials continued shutoffs despite the so-called 15-day “pause.”

Pharmaceutical company Allergan to lay off 1,500 workers

By David Brown, 22 July 2014

The announcement comes only days after Microsoft announced plans to lay off 18,000 workers.

Detroit officials announce 15-day “pause” of mass water shutoffs

By Jerry White, 22 July 2014

The temporary suspension of shutoffs is a public relations move as the city prepares to escalate a brutal policy that has left thousands without water.

Video: Detroit residents speak out against water shutoffs

By James Brewer, 22 July 2014

In this video, Detroit residents speak out against water shutoffs at a bill payment center and rally against water shutoffs.

“We are not living in a democratic society”

Opposition grows to Detroit water shutoffs

By our reporters, 21 July 2014

The shut off of water to tens of thousands of Detroit residents has provoked widespread anger and opposition throughout the city and beyond.

Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs

By Andre Damon, 18 July 2014

Software giant Microsoft announced plans to eliminate 18,000 jobs over the next year, becoming the fourth major US technology company to announce mass layoffs since January.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The social crisis in America’s Rust Belt

By Niles Williamson, 17 July 2014

The destruction of manufacturing jobs in America’s “Rust Belt” has left Milwaukee’s workers fighting high unemployment, poverty and food insecurity.

In congressional testimony, Fed Chair Yellen reassures Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 16 July 2014

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated her determination to keep interest rates at historic lows for the indefinite future.

Metro Washington, DC among the most unequal areas in US

By Nick Barrickman, 15 July 2014

Child poverty in the DC area has increased by nearly 25 percent since the recession began, from 8.2 to 10.7 percent today.

Mine and car job cuts drive up Australia’s unemployment

By Mike Head, 15 July 2014

Falling commodity prices and restructuring by mining and auto companies are expected to send the jobless rate even higher.

SEP campaigns against water shutoffs in Detroit

By Jake Dean, 15 July 2014

A Detroit-area teacher said, “To shut off water and give no alternative to these people, the whole world should be appalled.”

Atlantic City, New Jersey casino to close, sign of worsening US jobs crisis

By Philip Guelpa, 14 July 2014

The owners of the Trump Plaza resort casino in Atlantic City announced on Saturday that it would close in September, laying off approximately 1,000 workers.

Obama administration to shield Citigroup executives in mortgage fraud settlement

By Gabriel Black, 12 July 2014

Citigroup, the third-largest US bank, is set to reach a $7 billion settlement with the Department of Justice over charges that it sold fraudulent mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 crash.

Portugal banking crisis sparks global stock selloff

By Andre Damon, 11 July 2014

Stocks plunged in Europe and the US Thursday amid a sell-off in the Portuguese banking sector, prompting fears of a resurgence of the European debt crisis.

“It is inhumane”

Detroit water shutoffs hit families, ill and elderly residents

By a WSWS reporting team, 10 July 2014

Thousands more Detroit families had their water shut off this week as part of the city administration’s plan to cut service to 150,000 households who are overdue on their water bills.

Video: Detroit residents speak out on water shutoffs

By Tim Rivers, 9 July 2014

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to Detroit residents as they waited in line at water payment centers, doing their best to get running water turned back on to their homes.

The 17,000 Dow: Surging towards a disaster

By Nick Beams, 7 July 2014

Explosive contradictions in global finance are building up as stock markets continue to rise.

”I take my elderly aunt four buckets of water a day”

Detroit residents and water workers speak out against water shutoffs

By Muhammad Khan and Shannon Jones, 7 July 2014

The city of Detroit is racing ahead with its plans to shut off water to some 150,000 families who cannot afford to pay their water bills.

A revealing speech by US Fed chief Yellen

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2014

The US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen has committed to continuing the policies that are preparing the conditions for another financial crash.

US jobs report shows growth in part-time, low-wage work

By Andre Damon, 4 July 2014

The jobs created last month were largely part-time and low-wage, continuing the trend of replacing workers laid off during the 2008 crash with lower-paid, highly exploited employees.

US students and graduates speak on the burden of college debt

By Khara Sikhan and Matthew MacEgan, 3 July 2014

Forty percent of young people in the US call their student debt “overwhelming, ” according to a survey published by Wells Fargo last month.

Workers on Detroit water shutoffs: “They are making it so you can’t live”

By Shannon Jones, 30 June 2014

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is backing a brutal shutoff policy aimed at residents who are behind in their water bills.

Pennsylvania budget: Layoffs, cuts to education and pensions

By Samuel Davidson, 30 June 2014

Governor Tom Corbett is demanding pensions be cut and liquor stores privatized as part of any budget deal.

Multi-millionaire Hillary Clinton denies she is part of the “truly well-off”

By Andre Damon, 25 June 2014

Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned more than $100 million in speaking fees from corporations and business foundations.

US workers speak on gas prices related to renewed conflict in Iraq

By our reporters, 23 June 2014

Workers in US cities spoke to the WSWS about how they are affected by higher gasoline prices, with many taking the opportunity to denounce war in Iraq.

Former Goldman trader involved in fraudulent activities says $8 million bonus too low

By Andre Damon, 21 June 2014

A former Goldman Sachs trader who helped the bank bet against toxic mortgage-backed securities it was palming off to investors claims he was underpaid for his efforts.

Economy slumps, Wall Street booms

By Barry Grey, 20 June 2014

The Federal Reserve cut its estimate of US economic growth this year and scaled back its longer-term projection, a virtual admission that slump and falling living standards for the masses of people are here to stay.

Timothy Geithner’s Stress Test: Confessions of a Wall Street bag-man

By Andre Damon, 18 June 2014

Stress Test, the memoir published last month by former US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, documents the conspiracy to prepare and execute the 2008 bank bailout from the point of view of the operation’s leading architect.

IMF cuts projection for US economic growth

By Gabriel Black, 17 June 2014

The IMF warned Monday that unemployment and financial instability would continue to plague the US economy and recommended extending record low interest rates.

Detroit retirees denounce plan to raid city workers’ savings accounts

By Jerry White, 17 June 2014

Nearly 5,000 retired Detroit city workers will be forced to pay back tens of thousands of dollars in earnings from their annuity savings accounts.

Appeals court backs executive branch whitewash of Wall Street

By Gabriel Black, 10 June 2014

A Federal appeals court overturned a judge’s 2011 decision against a sweetheart deal between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Citibank.

Massive cuts to education, pensions and social services expected in Pennsylvania state budget

By Samuel Davidson, 9 June 2014

The state is facing a $1.3 to $1.5 billion deficit for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Wealth report shows deepening social polarization in US

By Patrick Martin, 7 June 2014

Federal Reserve figures show total US net worth rising to a record $81.8 trillion at the same time that the vast majority of working people are struggling to make end meets.

Tepid employment report masks depth of US jobs crisis

By Barry Grey, 7 June 2014

The fact that it has taken six-and-a half years to replace the millions of jobs lost in the recession is a measure of the depth of a crisis that continues to undermine the living standards of US workers.

US economy contracts as tens of thousands are laid off

By Matthew MacEgan, 4 June 2014

New reports show US gross domestic product, wage growth and consumer spending either stagnated or declined in the first quarter of 2014.

Emergency manager threatens Detroit retirees at policy conference

By Thomas Gaist, 2 June 2014

Kevyn Orr used his remarks at an elite policy conference to warn retirees of severe consequences if the Plan of Adjustment is voted down.

US economy contracted by 1 percent in first three months of 2014

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2014

Nearly six years after the 2008 financial meltdown, the US economy remains mired in stagnation and slump.

Retail sales slump points to dismal conditions for US workers

By Andre Damon, 27 May 2014

Six years after the 2008 economic crisis, unemployment, poverty, stagnant wages, and temporary employment continue to be realities of life for broad sections of the US population.

A clarification on Detroit’s plan of adjustment vote

By the Socialist Equality Party, 21 May 2014

In this statement, the SEP clarifies its position on a vote currently being carried out on a plan of adjustment submitted by Detroit’s emergency manager.

“More Detroits are on their way”

Top Democratic advisor calls for nationwide pension cuts and financial restructuring

By Thomas Gaist, 21 May 2014

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Richard Ravitch called for federal measures forcing states to slash pension and health care spending.

Pennsylvania faces a $1 billion tax shortfall, setting stage for new budget cuts

By Samuel Davidson, 19 May 2014

In April, the state collected $495 million less in tax revenue than projected.

The Wall Street bonanza

By Andre Damon, 14 May 2014

The vast redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top that has taken place since the 2008 crash is expressed in the colossal rise in stock prices, which have nearly tripled since March 2009.

What are the political forces behind Seattle’s minimum wage proposal?

By Hector Cordon and Jerry White, 12 May 2014

The Seattle City Council to consider a complicated $15 minimum wage ordinance.

Arizona veterans’ hospital scandal: Forty patients died awaiting treatment

By Diana Green, 12 May 2014

Over the past two weeks, whistle-blowers have confirmed that a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Phoenix allowed 40 patients to die.

Syracuse, New York housing in shambles

By Steve Filips and Don Barret, 12 May 2014

The low-income workers in Syracuse, NY are left little choice but to live in substandard housing.

Fed Chief Yellen reassures Wall Street on interest rates

By Patrick Martin, 8 May 2014

In testimony before Congress, Yellen indicated that the US Federal Reserve would keep interest rates at their current near-zero level for the foreseeable future.

After merger, pay cuts, Office Depot closing 400 stores in US

By Jerry White, 7 May 2014

After merging with rival OfficeMax, the giant office supply retailer is eliminating thousands of jobs.

Bankruptcy judge approves final revision of Detroit restructuring plan

By Thomas Gaist, 7 May 2014

The Plan of Adjustment approved by Judge Rhodes Monday contains major cuts to pensions, eviscerates retiree health care and paves the way for a fire sale of the city’s water system and electrical grid.

Maternal death in childbirth up 50 percent in America

Mortality rate higher than China and Saudi Arabia

By Andre Damon, 6 May 2014

The incidence of maternal death in childbirth in the US has soared by 50 percent since 1990, according to an international study published Friday in the British medical journal Lancet .

“Positive” US jobs report reflects economic stagnation

By Patrick Martin, 3 May 2014

While the official jobless rate declined, 800,000 workers dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work.

US economic growth grinds to a halt in first quarter

By Andre Damon, 1 May 2014

The US economy grew at a rate of just 0.1 percent in the first quarter of this year, pointing to continued economic stagnation nearly six years after the 2008 Wall Street crash.

US sequester cuts gut scientific research

By Anthony Bertolt, 1 May 2014

Billions of dollars in sequester cuts to the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation will result in untold delays in life-saving medical and biological research.

US economic “recovery” dominated by low-wage jobs

By Andre Damon, 29 April 2014

While the jobs lost in the 2008 crisis were primarily higher and medium-wage, a disproportionate amount of new jobs pay less than about $13 per hour, according to a report issued Monday by the National Employment Law Project.

Portrait of a modern-day plutocrat: Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle

By Julien Kiemle, 22 April 2014

Larry Ellison, the highest paid CEO in the US, exemplifies the parasitism of today’s super-rich.

Washington, DC region has worst year of jobs growth since 2008 crash

By Nick Barrickman, 22 April 2014

The Washington, DC region added only 4,800 jobs in the twelve months ending in February.

America’s hungry 21st Century

By Andre Damon, 21 April 2014

The pervasiveness of hunger in the United States is an indictment of the capitalist system.

One in five US children do not have enough to eat

By Andre Damon, 19 April 2014

Feeding America released its annual report on local food insecurity Thursday, showing that there are dozens of counties in the US where a third of children do not get enough to eat.

Judge denies suit seeking to force GM to ground recalled cars

By Shannon Jones, 19 April 2014

The cars have defective ignitions that have been tied to fatal crashes in which airbags failed to deploy.

Inequality and the drive to war

By Andre Damon, 16 April 2014

The eruption of US militarism is bound up with the enormous growth of social inequality.

US retailer Family Dollar to close 370 stores

By Jake Dean, 12 April 2014

Discount retailer Family Dollar said it plans to close about 5 percent of its 8,100 locations in the next six months.

Detroit to pay millions to banks that swindled city

By Shannon Jones, 12 April 2014

UBS and Bank of America are being paid to unwind illegal swap deals that have already cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars.

Detroit Emergency Manager offers 78 cents on the dollar to major creditors

By Thomas Gaist, 10 April 2014

The offer is a huge increase from the 15 cents on the dollar previously proposed.

While wages, jobs stagnate

Median CEO pay in US tops $10 million

By Patrick Martin, 5 April 2014

The median worker would have to work 257 years to earn as much as the typical top 500 CEO made in 2013 alone.

Another mediocre US jobs report

By Andre Damon, 5 April 2014

The latest US jobs report points to a continued slump following the economic collapse five-and-a-half years ago.

How Fed Chair Yellen packaged her commitment to Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 3 April 2014

Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Monday was a nauseating attempt to conceal her deep commitment to the interests of Wall Street behind expressions of concern for working people.

One in three people in the US live “hand-to-mouth”

By Nick Barrickman, 27 March 2014

A paper published by the Brookings institution last week shows that economic distress is far more widespread than is shown in official poverty statistics.

Five more convicted in Madoff Ponzi scheme

Jamie Dimon continues to escape prosecution

By Andre Damon, 27 March 2014

A federal jury on Monday convicted five former employees of Bernard Madoff for helping him run the biggest Ponzi scheme in US history.

Time Warner CEO to receive $80 million payout after six weeks of work

By Andre Damon, 22 March 2014

Robert D. Marcus the chief executive of Time Warner Cable, is set to receive an $80 million payout if the company goes through with its planned acquisition by Comcast

Detroit water department preparing mass utility shutoffs

By Thomas Gaist, 22 March 2014

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is launching an aggressive campaign to shut off between 1,500 and 3,000 customers per week.

Toyota pays $1.2 billion to escape prosecution for defect deaths and injuries

By James Cogan, 21 March 2014

The fine agreed by Toyota and the US Justice Department sets a precedent that can be used by General Motors.

Federal Reserve reaffirms commitment to cheap money for Wall Street

By Andre Damon, 20 March 2014

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen reassured US financial interests that the central bank would continue to keep interest rates near zero.

As retiree letters flood the bankruptcy court…

Detroit attorney says pension cuts actually close to 50 percent

By Thomas Gaist, 17 March 2014

Taking into account the end of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), non-uniformed city worker pensions will be cut by 47 percent.

Senate negotiators reach deal to extend jobless benefits by cutting pension funding

By Andre Damon, 15 March 2014

A group of bipartisan Senate negotiators said they had reached an agreement to extend federal emergency jobless benefits for five months, to be offset by cuts to pension funding and increased user fees.

US grocery chain takeover threatens workers’ jobs

By Marc Wells, 11 March 2014

The purchase of Safeway by Cerberus, a private equity firm, portends an assault on workers’ wages and benefits.