World Economy

European Central Bank rejects request by Italy for more time to rescue ailing lender

By Nick Beams, 10 December 2016

The move increases the odds of a government bailout that would impose major losses on small investors and bondholders.

European Central Bank cuts asset purchases but insists “quantitative easing” continues

By Nick Beams, 9 December 2016

President Mario Draghi emphasised that “uncertainty prevails everywhere” and it was very difficult to assess the long-term impact of the “radically new administration” in the US.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi officially resigns

By Marianne Arens, 8 December 2016

Italy’s Senate voted in favour of the budget and thus cleared the way for Renzi’s resignation.

European Union finance ministers insist on more austerity

By Julie Hyland, 7 December 2016

Following seven years of austerity, the EU insists that Athens impose an extra €4.2 billion in austerity savings and further labour reforms, including abolishing collective bargaining.

OPEC announces deal to cut oil production

By Nick Beams, 1 December 2016

The OPEC negotiations were marked by considerable tension, with warnings that oil price could fall to as low as $20 per barrel if no agreement were reached.

"No" vote in Italian referendum could spark banking crisis

By Nick Beams, 29 November 2016

Finance capital sees the referendum as a test of whether Prime Minister Renzi can push though “market restructuring” of the banking system and deepen attacks on the working class.

Election of Donald Trump foreshadows trade war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 25 November 2016

Trump has not only sunk the Trans Pacific Partnership but called into question the entire basis of the post-World War II order in the Asia Pacific.

Trump’s election overshadows Asia-Pacific summit

By Mike Head, 21 November 2016

The meeting was dominated by anxiety and uncertainty in the face of an incoming Trump administration based on protectionist and nationalist policies.

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.

Trump victory batters emerging markets

By Nick Beams, 14 November 2016

The decline in emerging bond and currency markets hit Latin America, South Africa and Asia, driven by fears of rising interest rates and protectionist measures in the US.

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.

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.

Selloff in global bond markets

By Nick Beams, 31 October 2016

Significant falls in the price of bonds last week could be the sign of greater turbulence to come amid uncertainty about the monetary policies of the world’s central banks.

China growth on target but debt concerns mount

By Nick Beams, 27 October 2016

Chinese firms are estimated to have about $18 trillion worth of debt, equivalent to 170 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

EU crisis deepens as trade deal with Canada stalls

By Jordan Shilton, 27 October 2016

Whether or not the deal is ultimately ratified, the conflicts over CETA have again starkly exposed the advanced state of decomposition of the European Union.

BRICS summit riven by geo-political rivalry

By Deepal Jayasekera, 26 October 2016

India’s attempt to use the BRICS summit to isolate Pakistan met with stiff Chinese opposition—underscoring the hardening of the Indo-US and Sino-Pakistani alliances.

Thomas Piketty in Sydney: Data on social inequality, but no solution

By Nick Beams, 26 October 2016

Despite the wealth of vitally important data, there was a paucity of historical and political analysis on how ever-widening social inequality can be overcome.

Social inequality and the fight against capitalism

By Nick Beams, 25 October 2016

Facts and figures featured in the analysis conducted by French political economist Thomas Piketty underscore that there is no possibility of combating ever-growing social inequality other than by means of socialist revolution.

European Central Bank “obfuscation” likely to fuel market volatility

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2016

The decision by the ECB not to indicate the future of its bond-buying program reflects deep divisions inside the central bank with growing opposition from Germany.

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.

“Existential crisis” dominates IMF meeting on world economy

By Nick Beams, 11 October 2016

The IMF meeting was dominated by the spectre of secular stagnation, global disintegration and the rising hostility of masses of people to the present economic and political order.

British pound plummets over “hard Brexit” fears

By Nick Beams, 8 October 2016

The currency’s sudden fall on Friday was a warning that capital inflows needed to finance the British current account deficit could dry up.

As geo-political and economic tensions mount

IMF warns of record high global debt

By Nick Beams, 7 October 2016

The International Monetary Fund said low and negative interest rates are reaching the limits of their effectiveness and could undermine the solvency of pension and insurance funds.

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.

Deutsche Bank crisis: Germany and US accuse each other of economic warfare

By Stefan Steinberg, 4 October 2016

While the latest outbreak of transatlantic hostilities revolves around the perilous state of Deutsche Bank, it is not the only bank facing collapse.

Deutsche Bank and the global financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 1 October 2016

The contradiction between booming financial markets and intractable slump in the underlying economy is assuming an ever more explosive form.

Crisis at Germany’s Deutsche Bank intensifies

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 September 2016

Following the plunge in Deutsche Bank’s share price to its lowest level since 1983, Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, has announced a major restructuring.

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.

Economist magazine warns of revolutionary consequences of unprecedented corporate power

By Gabriel Black, 28 September 2016

A special report in the Economist magazine warns of a return to the type of economic and political conditions that produced the 1917 Russian Revolution.

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.

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.

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.

ECB keeps monetary policy on hold as tensions grow

By Nick Beams, 9 September 2016

The European Central Bank has kept its monetary policy on hold but there are growing concerns about what it can do as deflationary pressures continue.

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.

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy has global impact

By Ben McGrath, 9 September 2016

The company’s financial problems are a further indication of the economic instability facing the world economy.

Deteriorating Australian economy adds to pressure on Turnbull

By Mike Head, 7 September 2016

The corporate discontent with the prime minister’s performance is mounting amid falling business investment and stagnant retail sales.

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.”

Rising global tensions surface at G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 5 September 2016

It is a sure sign of the deepening malaise of the global capitalist economy, afflicted by lower growth and falling trade, that “overcapacity” in steel was at the very centre of the G20 economic agenda.

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.”

France demands end to trade talks with US amid rising US-EU tensions

By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 31 August 2016

As France demanded an end to talks on the TTIP trade deal, the EU said it would levy a €13 billion fine on Apple, a move the US Treasury said could damage US-EU ties.

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.

ILO report: Global youth unemployment to rise for first time in three years

By Niles Niemuth, 27 August 2016

According to an International Labor Organization report, the number of unemployed young people ages 15 to 24 will rise to 71 million this year.

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.

Deutsche Bank whistleblower rejects reward, cites collusion between bank and regulators

By Gabriel Black, 25 August 2016

The former vice-president accused the SEC of not prosecuting leading bank officials because of the incestuous relationship between the bank and the ostensible watchdog.

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.

Pacific island economies hit by global slump

By John Braddock, 17 August 2016

Led by falling commodity prices and sharp declines in the Pacific’s largest economies, growth across the region will fall sharply in 2016.

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.

International bond markets turn “surreal” as speculation grows

By Nick Beams, 15 August 2016

The move by the Bank of England to undertake further “quantitative easing” has led to even more speculation in financial markets, as the underlying economy worsens.

Sri Lankan government imposes IMF privatisation demands

By Saman Gunadasa, 13 August 2016

The IMF regards Sri Lanka’s state-owned enterprises as a burden on the economy as well as a potential source of profit for investors.

The slump in US productivity: Another symptom of capitalist crisis

By Andre Damon, 11 August 2016

Behind the continuing slump in productivity and business investment is an immense growth of financial speculation.

The United Steelworkers, economic nationalism and the US drive to war

By Evan Winters and Jerry White, 10 August 2016

The USW's calls for tariffs against “foreign steel” and its nationalist agitation against China are aimed at dragooning workers into supporting US imperialism’s preparations for war.

Global economic stagnation fuels financial instability

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2016

The decision by the Bank of England to take “exceptional” financial measures reflects the worsening outlook for the global economy.

Bank of England announces record rate cut in windfall for financial markets

By Barry Grey, 5 August 2016

The rate cut, together with other measures announced by the bank, will pump 170 billion pounds ($223 billion) into the UK’s financial markets.

Manufacturing slows in Europe and Japan

By our reporter, 2 August 2016

The continued slump in the real economy is in marked contrast to the ongoing and ultimately unsustainable speculative frenzy on international share markets.

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.

Jobs losses continue in Australia as slump deepens

By Terry Cook, 23 July 2016

The job cuts further highlight the impact of falling commodity prices and declining demand in China and throughout Asia.

IMF cuts growth forecast in the wake of Brexit

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2016

The IMF has warned of the possibility of a “severe scenario” for Europe if financial conditions tighten and consumer confidence falls.

Global trade stagnates amid wave of protectionism

By Nick Beams, 15 July 2016

Members of the G20 were responsible for more than 80 percent of protectionist measures in 2015.

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.

A dangerous turn to economic nationalism

By Nick Beams, 12 July 2016

With all efforts to return global economic growth to pre-2008 levels having failed, the ruling class’s economic theorists have turned to the promotion of protectionism and nationalism.

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.”

Signs of post-Brexit financial crisis mount

By Nick Beams, 7 July 2016

The suspension of cash redemptions by six property investment firms in Britain could set off a crisis extending to the banking system.

Brexit to intensify Sri Lankan economic crisis

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 July 2016

The British vote threatens to exacerbate Sri Lanka’s balance of payments crisis and deepen the widespread discontent over the government’s austerity measures.

Brexit financial fallout widens

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2016

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned of “economic post-traumatic stress” hitting financial markets, businesses and households.

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.

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.

UK “leave” vote batters financial markets

By Andre Damon, 25 June 2016

The British pound plunged to a 31-year low, European stock markets crashed and US markets erased their gains for the year following the Brexit vote.

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.

IMF issues warning over growing Chinese debt problems

By Nick Beams, 14 June 2016

The IMF has described rising corporate debt in China as the key “faultline” in its economy, amid concerns it could have major “spillover” effects internationally.

Economic nationalism and the growing danger of war

By Nick Beams, 4 June 2016

The global economy is increasingly marked by the return of the types of economic nationalism that had such devastating consequences in the 1930s.

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.

Financial parasitism and the global housing crisis

By Gabriel Black, 31 May 2016

Rent and housing costs in major cities have skyrocketed since the financial crisis, cutting into workers’ living standards and prompting concerns about a global housing bubble.

Deepening national antagonisms dominate G7 summit

By Nick Beams, 27 May 2016

The G7 nations are seeking to ramp up military pressure against China, amid a deepening economic slump and divisions within their own ranks.

International finance capital and the strikes in France

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2016

The aim of the “structural reforms” demanded by the IMF and the financial elites is the destruction of all the social gains of the European working class won in the past seven decades.

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.

Growing warnings over Chinese debt

By Nick Beams, 18 May 2016

The IMF has reported that one sixth of Chinese business loans are on the books of companies earning less revenue than their interest payments.

US department store sales plunge, jobless claims rise

By Barry Grey, 17 May 2016

The slump in major chain store sales reflects the impact of a vast reordering of class relations in the US with devastating consequences for the working class.

Deepening contradictions within the global economy

By Nick Beams, 5 May 2016

Just as the economics of the present period are increasingly resembling the 1930s, so are the politics.

Australian government budget sets stage for volatile federal election

By James Cogan, 4 May 2016

The budget is predicated on cutbacks to working-class living standards in order to finance the ramping up of military spending and corporate tax cuts.

Apple sales decline points to faultlines in global economy

By Barry Grey, 28 April 2016

Apple exemplifies the unprecedented and unsustainable inflation of stock prices since the Wall Street crash of September 2008.

China debt levels reach record high

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2016

China’s debt levels have risen rapidly since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, with some analysts warning that the country may experience a “Lehman” disaster.

Divisions grow over European Central Bank policy

By Nick Beams, 22 April 2016

German criticism of the ECB’s negative interest rate regime is not the result of differences over monetary policy philosophy but is rooted in the political economy of German capitalism.

Doha oil talks collapse

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2016

The main reason for the failure to agree on an oil production freeze appears to be tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are on opposites sides in conflicts in the Middle East.

US corporate tax cheats hiding $1.4 trillion in profits in offshore accounts

By Patrick Martin, 15 April 2016

A report by Oxfam found that the 50 largest US corporations are evading $111 billion in US taxes per year—enough to wipe out child poverty in America.

Panama Papers reveal New Zealand is a tax haven for world’s elites

By John Braddock, 15 April 2016

Successive Labour and National governments are responsible for New Zealand laws that allow foreign trusts to carry out massive tax avoidance.

Economic nationalism and the global steel crisis

By Nick Beams, 14 April 2016

The program of economic nationalism promoted by the steel bosses, political leaders and the trade union bureaucrats leads to depression and ultimately war.

Financial instability far from over, says IMF

By Nick Beams, 14 April 2016

The IMF’s Global Financial Stability Report concluded that the market turbulence seen at the start of the year is not over and could be a warning of things to come.

IMF downgrades growth projections, warns of “synchronized slowdown”

By Barry Grey, 13 April 2016

Particularly striking is the prominence given in the IMF report to the impact of “noneconomic” factors in the deepening economic quagmire.

IMF to meet amid worsening stagnation and rising geo-economic tensions

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2016

As global growth continues to slow, there are rising concerns that the negative interest rate policies of major central banks are worsening the situation.

Panama Papers destabilise Cameron government in UK

By Chris Marsden, 11 April 2016

Britain stands at the epicentre of an international web of corruption serving the interests of a financial oligarchy that rules the entire planet.

Amid deepening slump, geopolitical and class tensions mount

By Nick Beams, 9 April 2016

The International Monetary Fund has called for enhanced global cooperation, but every tendency is heading in the opposite direction, with economic nationalism and militarism on the rise.

Panama Papers revelation triggers political crises around the globe

By Jordan Shilton, 7 April 2016

As pressure builds on Britain’s Conservative government over the tax arrangements of Prime Minister David Cameron, it is becoming clear that the Panama Papers are merely the tip of the iceberg.

The reality behind the “Save our Steel” campaign in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 6 April 2016

Whatever deal Tata and the government cook up with the private buyers of threatened steel plants, the trade unions will do nothing to oppose any attacks on jobs, wages and pensions.