World Economy

The escalation of global financial parasitism

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2015

The rise in stock markets expresses not the health, but rather the deepening sickness, of the global economic order.

OECD report: Global social inequality hits new record

By Gabriel Black, 23 May 2015

The growth of inequality has been accompanied by the expansion of part-time and contingent labor, particularly for younger workers.

Token fines for banks caught rigging foreign exchange markets

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 21 May 2015

Wednesday’s announcement was further confirmation that the US and international financial aristocracy is above the law.

Only one in four workers worldwide has a stable job

By Andre Damon, 20 May 2015

Jobs created in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis have been disproportionately contingent and part-time, according to a new report published by the International Labor Organization.

Surprise move by European Central Bank to speed up debt purchases

By Nick Beams, 20 May 2015

The accelerated ECB purchase of sovereign debt is another indication of increasing nervousness in global financial markets.

Five major banks to plead guilty to rigging currency markets

By Andre Damon, 15 May 2015

The effect of guilty pleas for crimes involving massive manipulation of financial markets will be essentially zero, beyond the immediate costs the fines levied on the institutions.

Former Sri Lankan president warns of government financial bankruptcy

By K. Ratnayake, 14 May 2015

Kumaratunga blamed the crisis on the previous Rajapakse government’s “lack of transparency.”

China’s central bank cuts rate amid further signs of slowdown

By Nick Beams, 13 May 2015

The latest rate cut has raised concerns that China’s financial authorities are “behind the curve” of the country’s economic slowdown.

Bond market sell-off signals mounting financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 8 May 2015

In the last two weeks an estimated $2 trillion has been wiped off share and bond markets.

Australian central bank cuts interest rate to record low

By Nick Beams, 6 May 2015

The Reserve Bank of Australia has been caught in the financial vortex created by global interest rate cuts and a developing currency war.

US economy stalled in first quarter

By Andre Damon, 30 April 2015

Business investment collapsed in the first quarter, even as US companies sat atop a record $1.4 trillion cash hoard.

Deutsche Bank: Union trades jobs for speculation

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 30 April 2015

Deutsche Bank is now concentrating on international speculation and substantially downsizing its business with smaller customers.

Obama, Republicans push anti-China trade pact

By Patrick Martin, 23 April 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is aimed at reinforcing US dominance in the Asia-Pacific region against the rising economic, political and military power of China.

US economic decline overshadows IMF-World Bank meeting

By Nick Beams, 21 April 2015

While not on the official agenda, there was a palpable sense that the key institutions of the post-war economic order are starting to crumble.

Caterpillar moves to close its plant in Tasmania, Australia

By Terry Cook, 21 April 2015

Caterpillar will retrench almost its entire workforce in Burnie and relocate production to Thailand over the next 12 months.

Economic stagnation, financial parasitism dominate IMF-World Bank meeting

By Nick Beams and Barry Grey, 18 April 2015

Official reports prepared by the International Monetary Fund show that the global economy is not on the cusp of a recovery, but moving deeper into crisis.

More layoffs as global oil price slump continues

By Niles Williamson, 18 April 2015

The world’s largest oilfield service company, Schlumberger, announced this week that as a result of declining oil production it will cut 11,000 jobs worldwide, bringing the firm’s total layoffs so far this year to 20,000.

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hired by hedge fund Citadel

By Andre Damon, 18 April 2015

Bernanke’s new job constitutes little more than a kickback for services rendered to Wall Street.

China’s growth rate takes another downturn

By Nick Beams, 16 April 2015

The decline in Chinese growth to the lowest point since the global financial crisis is having significant international consequences.

IMF warns of slow growth, high unemployment

By Barry Grey, 11 April 2015

The IMF’s analysis amounts to a tacit acknowledgement that the crisis is of historical dimensions and the underlying problems in the global capitalist system have not been resolved.

Australian central bank warns of worsening economic outlook

By Mike Head, 8 April 2015

Yesterday’s Reserve Bank decision to leave record low interest rates on hold highlights the precarious state of Australian capitalism.

A decisive turning point in the crisis of American imperialism

By Nick Beams, 1 April 2015

The decision by some 40 countries to sign up for the China-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank is a critical marker in the economic decline of American imperialism.

US layoffs mount amid signs of economic slowdown

By Andre Damon, 28 March 2015

US steel companies announced thousands of layoffs this week.

Growing warnings of another financial disaster

By Nick Beams, 25 March 2015

There are an increasing number of warnings that financial markets could be headed for a “liquidity crunch” if major players head for the exits at the same time.

IMF rejects Sri Lankan request for loan bailout

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 March 2015

The IMF’s blunt message to Sri Lanka is for new social attacks on the working class and poor.

The conflict over the China-backed Asian investment bank

By Nick Beams, 19 March 2015

The British decision to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has opened the way for other European powers to sign up, despite intense opposition from the US.

US stocks surge as Fed signals slower rise in interest rates

By Barry Grey, 19 March 2015

Any tightening of the central bank cash spigot threatens to bring the bull market, and the windfalls it provides the rich and the super-rich, crashing down.

Investors pledge billions to Egyptian junta at Sharm el-Sheikh conference

By Alex Lantier, 14 March 2015

Finance capital is launching new projects because it assumes the Egyptian military dictatorship’s bloody repression will guarantee low wages and high profits.

European Central Bank bond-buying program fuels financial turbulence

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2015

The commencement of the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program is already sending shock waves through global financial markets.

China cuts growth forecast, warning of “deep-seated” economic problems

By Nick Beams, 6 March 2015

In opening the National People’s Congress yesterday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warned that “the downward pressure on China’s economy is intensifying.”

Wealth of world’s billionaires surges past $7 trillion

By Joseph Kishore, 4 March 2015

The inexorable rise in the wealth of the ultra-rich, amidst economic stagnation, is an expression of the parasitic character of world capitalism.

Record global stock prices reflect growth of financial parasitism

By Nick Beams, 27 February 2015

The emergence of negative bond yields signifies that the international bond market is being transformed into a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

Mounting signs of global economic stagnation

By Nick Beams, 18 February 2015

Profits are increasingly being accumulated not through investment and increased production, but by various forms of speculation.

Growing problems for Chinese economy

By Oliver Campbell, 17 February 2015

Inflation in China has fallen to its lowest level in five years as the economic slowdown continues.

A revealing Financial Times comment on the Greek debt crisis

By Nick Beams, 16 February 2015

Financial Times columnist advises Syriza-led government to stand firm in “high noon” showdown with euro zone finance ministers.

HSBC documents reveal criminal conspiracy of banks and governments

By Andre Damon, 11 February 2015

The British, American and other governments buried evidence that Europe’s largest bank was running a massive tax fraud service.

US wage and GDP growth decline in the fourth quarter

By Gabriel Black, 2 February 2015

While the United States has been slowly adding jobs, many of these jobs are in low-wage sectors or industries that are moving in that direction.

Germany moves into deflation as global bond prices point to deepening slump

By Nick Beams, 30 January 2015

The potential consequences of falling consumer prices and money flooding into bond markets threaten to outweigh even those of the 2008 financial crisis.

Mass job losses unfold in global oil industry

By Gabriel Black, 26 January 2015

Several major oil service companies announced that they would cut significant sections of their workforce, leading to tens of thousands of new layoffs.

Financial markets celebrate European Central Bank launch of €1 trillion quantitative easing program

By Nick Beams, 23 January 2015

The measure will have little or no impact on the real economy. Rather, it is aimed at making available further supplies of ultra-cheap cash for financial speculation.

Capitalism and the global plutocracy

By Andre Damon, 21 January 2015

A group of people who can fit into a double-decker bus control more wealth than 3.5 billion people, equivalent to the combined populations of China, India, the United States and the European Union.

China records lowest growth in 24 years

By Will Morrow, 21 January 2015

China’s economy is racked by mounting debt and productive overcapacity, resulting from the stimulus measures adopted by the Chinese regime since the 2008 crash.

IMF cuts growth forecast amid warnings of rising global unemployment

By Nick Beams, 21 January 2015

The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its forecast for global economic growth in 2015, slicing 0.3 percentage points off its estimate last October.

Mexico’s state oil company sacks thousands of workers

By Don Knowland, 20 January 2015

Amidst falling oil prices, attempts by Pemex to cut production costs while courting foreign energy investors will fall most heavily on workers.

Canada’s finance minister postpones budget as economic turmoil deepens

By Roger Jordan, 17 January 2015

The drop in world oil prices has roiled the Canadian economy, which is heavily reliant on energy export-earnings and the Alberta tar sands.

Financial markets rocked by decision to abandon ceiling on Swiss franc

By Nick Beams, 16 January 2015

The decision by Swiss authorities to end the franc’s fixed relationship to the euro has led to one of the most rapid currency appreciations in history.

World Bank lowers its growth forecast

By Nick Beams, 15 January 2015

The latest World Bank report offers no prospect for a recovery in the world economy and points to significant risks.

US and EU press ahead with secretive new trade agreement

By Julie Hyland, 15 January 2015

The objective of the new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to consolidate an economic empire to dictate terms to those outside.

Oil prices and bond yields continue their decline

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2015

Oil prices on Tuesday sank further toward their levels of 2009, while bond yields hit zero in Japan.

The economic and political implications of deflation

By Nick Beams, 10 January 2015

The announcement that Europe has gone into deflation underscores the deepening breakdown of the global capitalist economy.

Euro zone officially tips into deflation

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 January 2015

More than six years since the 2008 financial crash, Europe is beset by economic stagnation.

Political instability and global slump intensify financial turmoil

By Nick Beams, 7 January 2015

Markets fell again on Tuesday, reflecting the impact of falling oil prices and political turmoil.

Sharp market falls over euro and oil price slump

By Nick Beams, 6 January 2015

The main factor in the fall in US markets appears to have been the further sharp decline in oil prices.

2014–2015: Results and prospects

By David North and Joseph Kishore, 5 January 2015

The twenty-first century is no longer a novelty. As we begin the New Year, the past fifteen years provide sufficient data to allow us to identify the principal economic, geopolitical and social processes and tendencies that will determine the nature and direction of events in 2015 and the years ahead.

Figure hits $4.1 trillion

Wealth of world’s 400 richest billionaires rose $92 billion in 2014

By Andre Damon, 3 January 2015

The wealth of the global financial elite soared last year amid surging stock markets fueled by cash infusions from central banks.

Blood and capital

By Johannes Stern, 3 January 2015

International finance capital looks to the Egyptian military with enthusiasm not only for what it is doing in Egypt, but for the model the financial markets favor for every country.

European Central Bank president’s interview sends euro to four-year low

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2015

ECB President Mario Draghi has taken another step to full quantitative easing amid increasing deflationary pressures.

Oil price fall roils Canadian economy

By Dylan Lubao, 3 January 2015

Plummeting oil prices are causing Alberta and several other provinces to initiate new austerity drives and Canadian oil producers to slash investments and jobs.

Global financial markets facing instability in 2015

By Nick Beams, 31 December 2014

Divergent central bank policies are a potential source of financial turmoil in 2015.

The Dow at 18,000: Contradictions mount in world economy

By Nick Beams, 27 December 2014

The ever-widening gap between financial markets and the real economy is creating the conditions for economic turmoil and the eruption of social and political struggles.

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.