World Economy

Wall Street surge another sign of instability

By Nick Beams, 22 December 2014

The gyrations on Wall Street last week underscore how dependent financial markets are on the supply of ultra-cheap money from the US Federal Reserve.

Oil price slide and ruble plunge shake global markets

By Nick Beams, 16 December 2014

The worsening global slump is sending shock waves through financial markets.

Oil price fall brings global market turbulence

By Nick Beams, 15 December 2014

Share prices fell last week amid fears that the rapid drop in oil prices is having an impact on debt markets and signals a world downturn.

Jobless toll continues to rise in Australia

By Mike Head, 13 December 2014

There are now about five times as many unemployed workers as the number of job advertisements.

Report shows rising social inequality in major capitalist countries

By Dietmar Henning, 12 December 2014

Thirty years ago, the richest 10 percent in OECD countries earned seven times more than the poorest 10 percent. Today, the ratio is 9.5 to 1.

Global recessionary trends strengthening

By Nick Beams, 11 December 2014

The state of the euro zone economy continues to go from bad to worse.

Bank for International Settlements points to increased financial fragility

By Nick Beams, 8 December 2014

The BIS warns of the growing volatility of international financial markets despite their apparent buoyancy.

The state of world capitalism: Labor productivity up, real wages down

By Patrick Martin, 6 December 2014

The latest Global Wage Report by the International Labor Organization documents the international working class’s declining share of world income.

European Central Bank meeting downgrades euro zone forecast

By Nick Beams, 5 December 2014

The forecasts of euro zone growth rates and inflation point to an accelerating downturn in the region’s economy.

Australian economy in income recession

By Nick Beams, 4 December 2014

Output grew by only 0.3 percent in the third quarter, well below expectations, accompanied by a fall in national income.

Plunging prices and stalling investment drive Australian mining job cuts

By Terry Cook, 4 December 2014

Thousands more jobs across Australia’s mining and resources sector will be eliminated as major companies restructure their operations and shelve investment plans in response to the ongoing plunge in commodity prices and slowing global demand.

Oil price slide rocks world economy

By Nick Beams, 2 December 2014

Energy companies, financial markets and whole economies are being severely impacted by the oil price slide following the decision by OPEC not to cut production.

US retail sales plunge during “Black Friday” weekend

By Patrick Martin, 2 December 2014

The fall in sales reflects the fact that the disposable incomes of working-class households continue to stagnate and decline.

OECD report highlights deepening economic breakdown

By Nick Beams, 27 November 2014

The growing risk of stagnation in the euro zone is accompanied by the danger of renewed financial turbulence.

Markets rise as global economic outlook worsens

By Nick Beams, 25 November 2014

The Chinese central bank’s decision to cut interest rates and a speech by the European Central Bank president point to deteriorating conditions in the world economy.

Global economy falls deeper into slump

By Nick Beams, 20 November 2014

Economic stagnation in Europe and the fourth Japanese recession in six years show that the world economy is in a downward spiral.

Japan’s snap election: A sign of economic and political crisis

By Peter Symonds, 19 November 2014

Prime Minister Abe called the poll just a day after economic data showed that the country was in recession.

Japan slides back into recession

By Nick Beams, 18 November 2014

The shock announcement that Japan’s economy shrank for the second quarter in a row dealt a major blow to “Abenomics.”

Empty commitment by G20 to boost global growth

By Nick Beams, 17 November 2014

The G20 summit pledge on economic growth is belied both by the actions of the major powers and the text of the final communiqué itself.

Stage set for confrontation, not cooperation, at G20

By Peter Symonds, 15 November 2014

Even before the summit began, Australian and British leaders targeted Russia—a sign of the bitter rivalry and wrangling that will dominate the talks.

Huge growth in China’s shadow banking system

By Douglas Lyons, 15 November 2014

China’s shadow banking sector now ranks as the third largest in the world, according to a report by the Financial Stability Board.

Corporatist agenda of trade unions on display at G20 summit

By James Cogan, 14 November 2014

The unions’ statement to the G20 leaders is a grab-bag of issues that their privileged functionaries know will never be acted on.

Australia: Silence on G20 lockdown at “Peoples Summit” forum on civil liberties

By Mike Head, 14 November 2014

The event provided a revealing glimpse of what passes for “opposition” by the various Greens, liberals, anarchists and pseudo-left groups involved.

Bank of Canada governor tells youth to work “for free”

By Dylan Lubao, 14 November 2014

In a remark indicative of the big business elite’s contempt for working people, the head of the Bank of Canada said jobless youth should get “real-life experience” by working for free.

Russian Central Bank floats ruble

By Clara Weiss, 13 November 2014

Moscow is floating the ruble in response to the West’s policy of economic warfare against Russia.

Obama escalates pressure on China at APEC summit

By Mike Head, 11 November 2014

The US president’s performance highlighted the rapid intensification of Washington’s aggressive stance globally.

Central bank decisions deepen global capitalist disorder

By Nick Beams, 8 November 2014

The growing financial madness underscores that the crisis that erupted in 2008 was a breakdown of the global capitalist economy, not a conjunctural downturn from which there would be a “recovery.”

UK Lloyds Banking Group to shed another 9,000 jobs and close 200 branches

By Robert Stevens, 1 November 2014

The restructuring is part of a three-year strategy, with Lloyds planning to make a further £1 billion a year in cost savings by 2017.

Amidst slowdown in global economy

Europe threatened with deflationary spiral

By Barry Grey, 30 October 2014

There are growing warnings of a deflationary spiral, in which falling prices create a vicious cycle of bankruptcies and layoffs leading to more bankruptcies and layoffs.

Rise in US corporate profits fueled by fall in real wages

By Jerry White, 24 October 2014

Caterpillar, Boeing, GE and GM led US manufacturers with better-than-expected third quarter profits.

German business demands further opening of Chinese market

By Gustav Kemper, 23 October 2014

The third round of German-Chinese government consultations took place in Berlin on October 10.

Market gyrations and the need for socialism

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2014

The wild swings on financial markets last week indicate that the crisis which erupted in 2008 is returning in an even more explosive form.

Richest one percent controls nearly half of global wealth

By Andre Damon, 17 October 2014

Hypothetically, if the growth of inequality were to proceed at last year’s rate, the richest one percent would control all the wealth on the planet within 23 years.

Turmoil rips through global financial markets

By Nick Beams, 16 October 2014

A day of turmoil on global financial markets has brought warnings that the conditions experienced in the financial crisis of 2008 could be returning.

Storm clouds gather over world economy

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2014

The IMF and World Bank meetings produced no policies to bring about an economic recovery.

The economic roots of the drive to war

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2014

The permanent stagnation in the world economy is fuelling inter-imperialist tensions and creating the conditions for war.

IMF report records global economic breakdown

By Nick Beams, 9 October 2014

The World Economic Outlook cannot explain why the IMF’s reports over the past four years have consistently over-estimated global growth.

Growth estimates revised down ahead of IMF-World Bank meetings

By Nick Beams, 8 October 2014

Such reductions have been a regular occurrence since the eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008.

The demise of “bond king” Bill Gross: Financial and political implications

By Nick Beams, 4 October 2014

The sudden departure of Bill Gross as chief executive of the world’s largest bond trading firm could be a new source of instability for financial markets

“Poisonous” economic combinations preparing new international crisis

By Nick Beams, 1 October 2014

According to the latest Geneva Report, with debt at historically elevated levels, any part of the world economy could set off a new financial crisis.

Share buybacks: Symptom of a decaying economic order

By Nick Beams, 26 September 2014

US corporations are increasingly using their profits to finance share buybacks rather than productive investment, spending more than $500 billion last year.

Australian economy caught in global downdraft

By Nick Beams, 25 September 2014

After escaping the full effects of the international financial crisis in 2008, Australia is being severely impacted by the ongoing global breakdown.

Wealth of world’s billionaires: $7.3 trillion

By Joseph Kishore, 19 September 2014

There are now 2,325 billionaires in the world, and their combined wealth has increased 12 percent from last year, according to a new report from Wealth-X and UBS bank.

IMF points to dangers of stagnation and financial turbulence

By Nick Beams, 19 September 2014

Another warning about the state of the world economy and the global financial system has been issued, this time from the International Monetary Fund, as G20 finance ministers and major central bankers meet this weekend.

New Indonesian government faces slowing economy, rising social tensions

By John Roberts, 18 September 2014

Widodo’s election promises will be watered down or ditched, as the new government presses ahead with IMF and World Bank’s demands for austerity.

OECD points to falling world economic growth

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2014

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has warned of falling world growth, sub-par expansion of trade and financial turbulence.

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.

IMF chief economist’s revealing expression of theoretical bankruptcy

By Nick Beams, 13 September 2014

Blanchard begins by explaining that the world’s “leading economists” had no idea that a global financial crisis on the scale of 2008 could develop.

Report to G20 outlines jobs and wages disaster

By Nick Beams, 11 September 2014

Low growth will continue to dampen employment prospects and lead to widening income inequality across the G20 countries.

Capitalist breakdown and the drive to war

By Nick Beams, 6 September 2014

Just as in the period prior to 1914, a deepening breakdown of the global capitalist system is fuelling the drive to a new world war.

National income falls sharply in Australia

By Mike Head, 6 September 2014

Real national income per person declined for the second year in a row, driven by falling export prices.

European Central Bank cuts rates and announces asset purchasing program

By Nick Beams, 5 September 2014

The European Central Bank has launched a new round of financial stimulus in the face of worsening economic conditions in Europe.

Economic data show gathering global slump

By Nick Beams, 3 September 2014

Monetary stimulus has failed to halt recessionary trends in the global economy.

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.

Major dip in China’s property market

By Nick Beams, 20 August 2014

If the fall in Chinese house prices continues, it will have a major impact on the financial system and the broader economy.

Signs of serious problems in Chinese and Japanese economies

By Nick Beams, 15 August 2014

The sharp slowdown in credit expansion in China and the contraction in Japan will impact on the world economy.

No significant recovery in world economy, says US Fed official

By Nick Beams, 14 August 2014

Economic policymakers are warning that low growth is looking increasingly permanent.

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.

Alarm bells sound louder over danger of financial collapse

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2014

The policies pursued by the US Fed and other central banks are creating the conditions for another financial crash.

Lloyds Bank admits fixing repo rate

By Jean Shaoul, 5 August 2014

Lloyds, in which the British Treasury has a 24 percent stake following the bank’s collapse in 2008, admitted that four of its staff had defrauded the Treasury.

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.

World capitalism in 2014

Two billion poor, one billion hungry

By Patrick Martin, 25 July 2014

The UN Development Report provides a wealth of statistics documenting the failure of capitalism.

Joseph Stiglitz in Australia: A desperate attempt to promote the illusion of reform

By Nick Beams, 23 July 2014

The central purpose of Stiglitz’s argument was to cover up the fact that growing social inequality is rooted in the very foundations of the capitalist economy.

BRICS bank decision highlights growing divisions among major powers

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2014

The move by the BRICS summit to set up a development bank and emergency fund reflects dissatisfaction with US dominance of the global financial system.

Bank for International Settlements chief sounds another warning on financial system

By Nick Beams, 16 July 2014

The head of the BIS says the global system could be more vulnerable than before the 2008 meltdown.

Child immigrants flee violence and poverty in Central America

By Norisa Diaz, 15 July 2014

Devastating social conditions have sparked the influx of unaccompanied minors and families from Central America.

A deepening global economic and financial breakdown

By Nick Beams, 2 July 2014

The Bank for International Settlements has warned that the supply of ultra-cheap money to financial markets is creating the conditions for another crash.

Another global financial crisis in the making, Bank for International Settlements warns

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2014

The BIS report is the latest in a series of warnings that the present financial boom is creating the conditions for another crisis.

US economic output tumbled by 2.9 percent in the first quarter

By Andre Damon, 26 June 2014

The sharp contraction expresses the fact that, nearly six years after the 2008 crash, the US economy remains mired in slump.

Child labour: A global scourge

By Ashley Tseng, 26 June 2014

According to the ILO, 168 million children in 2012 were subjected to “unacceptable” forms of child labour.

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.

ILO report: A world blighted by poverty and inequality

By Jerry White, 10 June 2014

A large majority of the world’s population lacks essential social protections, leading to the preventable deaths of 18,000 children each day.

International Labor Organization details impact of global austerity

By Jerry White, 5 June 2014

The World Social Protection Report 2014/15 documents the impact of austerity policies on the social safety net.

Financial Times’ attack on Piketty under fire

By Nick Beams, 30 May 2014

The Financial Times’ scurrilous attack on Thomas Piketty has been opposed by those working in the field of economic and social inequality.

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.

The Financial Times’ attack on Thomas Piketty

By Joseph Kishore, 27 May 2014

In a series of articles over the past several days, and in a major editorial published on Monday, the Financial Times has launched a scurrilous attack on Thomas Piketty and his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Sunday Times rich list: “Astonishing year” for Britain’s most wealthy

By Jordan Shilton, 21 May 2014

The concentration of wealth in a few hands contrasts ever more horrifically with worsening impoverishment for a growing proportion of the population.

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.

The Detroit model: Permanent rule by the banks

By Jerry White, 13 May 2014

The Michigan legislature is debating a series of bills to impose a permanent financial authority on Detroit that would remain in place long after the city emerges from bankruptcy.

Barclays to cut 19,000 jobs worldwide

By Shannon Jones, 10 May 2014

The layoffs include 7,000 job cuts at the firm’s investment banking operations.

Nick Beams: May Day 2014 and the breakdown of world capitalism

By Nick Beams, 6 May 2014

We are publishing here the text of the speech given by Nick Beams, national secretary of the SEP of Australia, to the International Online May Day Rally hosted by the International Committee of the Fourth International and the WSWS on Sunday, May 4.
Link to audio

World economy: Conditions for another crash taking shape

By Nick Beams, 30 April 2014

Far from being overcome, the breakdown, which began with the eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008, is intensifying.

IMF report: No end to economic breakdown

By Nick Beams, 8 April 2014

A major IMF report prepared for a series of international financial meetings this weekend describes a world economy in permanent crisis.

Growing danger of Chinese credit collapse

By Nick Beams, 4 April 2014

China experienced an expansion of credit unprecedented in world economic history—equivalent to the size of the entire US banking system.

The OECD’s “Society at A Glance” report: A portrait of a failed system

By Andre Damon, 24 March 2014

The OECD report documents the staggering rise of poverty, hunger, unemployment, and social distress in countries throughout the world in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crash.

What the Western-backed regime is planning for Ukrainian workers

By Julie Hyland, 15 March 2014

Social devastation is to be unleashed against a country that has already been subjected to the scorched earth economics of capitalist restoration.

Australia: Qantas Airways to cut 5,000 jobs and impose wage freeze

By James Cogan, 27 February 2014

The job destruction flows directly from the cut-throat competition for market share and profits among rival transnational airline alliances since the 2008 global financial crisis.

GM axes more auto jobs in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 20 February 2014

GM Korea plans to slash 1,100 jobs from its Gunsan factory, part of an overall assault on auto workers in Korea and internationally.

Australian corporate profits soar at workers’ expense

By Mike Head, 20 February 2014

CEOs are being rewarded for slashing costs, along with the livelihoods of many thousands of people.

The real face of the economic “recovery”

Mass layoffs hit North America, Europe and Japan

By Kate Randall, 7 February 2014

Despite stagnant revenues, companies are reporting booming profits on the basis of a relentless assault on jobs, wages and working conditions.

Social inequality and the war against the working class

By Andre Damon, 7 February 2014

Today, President Obama will sign a bill to cut $8.7 billion from the food stamp program.

The Detroit bankruptcy and the global social counterrevolution

By Jerry White, 4 February 2014

The city’s “plan of adjustment” outlines a savage assault that will set a precedent to escalate the attacks on the working class throughout the US and internationally.

Sharp fall in global share markets

By Nick Beams, 4 February 2014

Equity markets have had their worst start to the year since 2010.

Germany, US push aggressive policies at Munich Security Conference

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 February 2014

At the Munich Security Conference, German officials moved to repudiate the restraints on German militarism that were imposed after World War II.

Currency turmoil signals new phase of global economic crisis

By Nick Beams, 1 February 2014

The roots of the “emerging markets” crisis lie in the policies initiated by the US Federal Reserve and other central banks after the global financial crisis of 2008.

Share prices fall as global currency turmoil continues

By Nick Beams, 30 January 2014

Wall Street’s Dow Jones index dropped 190 points yesterday amid growing global currency turbulence.

Report exposes Chinese elite’s offshore tax havens

By Oliver Campbell, 30 January 2014

The consignment of riches to the British Virgin Islands provides a glimpse into the extraordinary growth of social inequality in China.