World 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.

Turkish interest rate leaps amid currency market turmoil

By Nick Beams, 29 January 2014

The massive rate hike followed warnings of financial “carnage” amid growing concerns over the stability of “emerging markets.”

Argentina on brink of new financial crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 29 January 2014

The Argentine government has responded to last week’s run on the peso with new rules allowing dollar purchases to barely 20 percent of the population.

Iranian president declares country “open for business”

By Keith Jones, 27 January 2014

Iran’s president travelled to the World Economic Forum in order to woo the world financial elite and reiterate the Islamic Republic’s eagerness to reach an accommodation with Washington.

Global stock sell-off highlights financial parasitism

By Barry Grey, 25 January 2014

Stock markets around the world plunged Friday as emerging market currencies hit record lows.

At Davos, Japanese prime minister inflames tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 24 January 2014

Abe likened the current friction between Japan and China to the rivalry between Britain and Germany on the eve of World War I.

Global unemployment rises above 200 million

By Mike Head, 21 January 2014

The ILO noted the glaring disparity between the recovery on global financial markets and the worsening situation facing workers.

Deflation threat poses new dangers to world economy

By Nick Beams, 17 January 2014

At a speech in Washington on Wednesday, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned that strengthening deflationary trends posed a threat to the global economy.

Brazil’s Petrobrás sells off Peruvian stake to China

By César Uco, 15 January 2014

Petrobrás, the government-run oil company, is selling off international assets to finance its investments in offshore oil.

As 2013 draws to a close, capitalist breakdown is intensifying

By Nick Beams, 30 December 2013

Rather than an upturn taking shape, warnings of “secular stagnation” are proliferating.

The humanitarian industry: A “force multiplier” for imperialism

Humanitarianism Contested, Where Angels Fear to Tread, by Michael Barnett and Thomas G. Weiss

By Nancy Hanover, 30 December 2013

The growing nexus between imperialism and international non-governmental organizations makes the 2011 book Humanitarianism Contested, Where Angels Fear to Tread a timely read.

Fed decision fuels global financial parasitism

By Nick Beams, 24 December 2013

Far from providing a cure for the crisis of the global capitalist system, the Fed’s policies are boosting the growth of a giant economic cancer.

Chinese economic conference warns of downturn

By John Chan, 24 December 2013

China’s industries confront serious overcapacity, and huge local government debts threaten financial stability.

Kellogg announces plant closures in Australia and Canada

By Terry Cook, 21 December 2013

Hundreds of jobs are being destroyed in Kellogg’s Project K “efficiency and effectiveness plan” to restructure its global operations.

Global markets shudder at prospect of Fed pullback on dollar handouts to banks

By Nick Beams, 17 December 2013

The global economy is increasingly coming to resemble an inverted pyramid, with ever-increasing financial wealth sitting atop a contracting real economy.

Trans-Pacific trade talks fail to meet Obama’s deadline

By Mike Head, 14 December 2013

The breakdown was a blow to the White House, which was intent on pushing through the pact as a key part of its “pivot” to Asia.

EU announces token fines on banks caught rigging global rates

By Stefan Steinberg and Barry Grey, 7 December 2013

The fines amount to a slap on the wrist for banks that have long since factored such sums into their accounts.

Global deflation, slowing growth fuel economic tensions

By Nick Beams, 18 November 2013

Hopes for global growth are being dashed as economic tensions intensify.

Global financial system may be heading for another 2008

By Nick Beams, 2 November 2013

There are growing concerns that the world financial system could be heading for another crash on the scale of 2008, or even larger.

Regional tensions to rise after Obama’s no-show in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 12 October 2013

Coming on top of the postponed attack on Syria, Obama’s cancelled trip disconcerted US allies and raised questions throughout Asia about Washington’s ability to meet its commitments.

New Australian government faces sharp economic downturn

By Mike Head, 12 October 2013

The Abbott government confronts falling growth rates, collapsing mining investment and rising unemployment.

IMF report points to deepening recessionary trends in global economy

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2013

Even if a US default is averted, the latest IMF World Economic Outlook report points to deepening recessionary trends in the world economy

Washington stokes conflict with China at ASEAN summit

By Joseph Santolan, 10 October 2013

With Obama canceling his trip to South East Asia, Kerry is trying to offset Beijing’s temporary advantage by escalating Washington’s provocative rhetoric.

China-US rivalry simmers at APEC summit

By Peter Symonds, 9 October 2013

Hanging over the meeting was the looming threat of a US default if the Congress fails to lift the ceiling on US government debt.

Fed “taper” decision points to deepening financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 23 September 2013

The central concern of the Fed is not the real economy and the worsening conditions faced by hundreds of millions of working people, but the need to maintain the inflation of asset prices.

UK economic “recovery” based on property bubble and rising inequality

By Julie Hyland, 14 September 2013

London School of Economics’ John Van Reenen describes the fall in workers’ wages as “stunning—and something that did not happen in previous postwar recessions in Britain”.

What the WSWS said about the Wall Street crash of September 15, 2008

14 September 2013

We are republishing here two articles posted on the World Socialist Web Site in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, as the tumultuous events surrounding the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s were unfolding.

As opposition to war mounts, Pentagon plans massive attack on Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 7 September 2013

With mounting opposition at home and abroad to war against Syria, the Pentagon is reportedly preparing for far more extensive bombing of the country than originally suggested.

Market turmoil signifies a new global financial crisis in the making

By Nick Beams, 3 September 2013

Speculative capital is on the move in anticipation of Fed “tapering.”

As rupee slides, India’s PM vows to accelerate pro-investor reform

By Keith Jones, 31 August 2013

The value of the Indian rupee continued to slide this week, forcing India’s central bank to take emergency measures.

Turmoil in emerging economies a symptom of global crisis

By Barry Grey, 27 August 2013

Almost overnight, the hot money that had boosted the “emerging economies” has stopped pouring in, and these countries have been hit with a massive flight of capital back to the US and other “developed” countries.

Indian rupee and economy in free fall

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 21 August 2013

India’s corporate media is increasingly voicing fears that the country could soon confront a current account crisis akin to that in 1991, when India was forced to seek an emergency bailout from the IMF.

Five years after the financial crash, global economy continues to weaken

By Nick Beams, 19 August 2013

Lower growth and mounting financial problems in the “emerging markets” are a new source of instability in the world economy.

Australian election: Treasury report points to more budget cuts

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2013

The actual course of economic events may proceed far more rapidly and turbulently than the forecasts indicate.

US growth and jobs figures point to continuing economic breakdown

By Nick Beams, 6 August 2013

US net investment is barely 4 percent of output, even with pre-tax corporate profits at record highs.

To avert current accounts crisis, India announces new measures to woo foreign investment

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 July 2013

India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance government has announced further “pro-investor” reforms in a desperate bid to increase foreign capital inflows.

New Pakistani government desperate for IMF bailout

By Sampath Perera, 25 July 2013

Nawaz Sharif’s new government agreed to further austerity and pro-market reforms to be eligible for a bailout.

IMF warns of growing risks to China’s financial system

By John Chan, 25 July 2013

The IMF pointed to the widely-cited fears over China’s total loan issuance.

IMF update highlights global economic slide

By Nick Beams, 11 July 2013

The world economy is moving still further away from what were once considered “normal” conditions.

Russian government implements austerity as economy falters

By Andrea Peters, 10 July 2013

Russia’s minister of finance announced plans last week to address a $33 billion budget shortfall with cuts targeting the working class.

India: Plummeting rupee sparks fears of current account crisis

By Kranti Kumara, 5 July 2013

There are increasing fears within the Indian elite that the rupee’s plummet—it has lost more than 10 percent of its value since April—could cascade into a current account crisis.

Share selloff points to new crisis

By Nick Beams, 25 June 2013

The renewed turmoil on global financial markets underscores the fact that none of the problems that erupted in the 2008 meltdown have been overcome.

Credit crunch hits China

By John Chan, 22 June 2013

The dramatic credit tightening in China since early June points to an emerging financial crisis with global implications.

G8 calls for peace talks to provide cover for US war preparations against Syria

By Chris Marsden, 19 June 2013

While the G8 summit formally agreed to peace negotiations in Geneva next month, behind the scenes the US is making plans for a no-fly zone in Syria.

Japanese stocks plunge amid global financial turmoil

By Andre Damon, 14 June 2013

The Japanese stock market plunged 6.4 percent Thursday, closing down by 21 percent over the last three weeks.

Russian economy threatened by recession

By Clara Weiss, 13 June 2013

The Kremlin now claims the economy will grow by just 2.4 percent.

Burma hosts the World Economic Forum on East Asia

By John Roberts, 12 June 2013

Global corporations are scrambling to secure a share of Burma’s lucrative energy reserves and markets previously cut off by US-led economic sanctions.

Sharp economic reversal in Australian mining states

By Mark Church, 10 June 2013

GDP data points to recessionary conditions taking hold as the two-decade-old mining boom breaks up.

Global stock sell-off amidst signs of deepening slump

By Andre Damon, 6 June 2013

The volatility in financial markets reflects the artificial and unsustainable character of the rise in asset prices in the midst of stagnation and slump in the real economy.

Wall Street embraces Humala’s “left” government in Peru

By Armando Cruz, 6 June 2013

Measures carried out by Humala, who won the presidency in 2011 promising to battle “neo-liberalism,” have placed him to the right of his predecessors.

Global capitalist crisis drives China’s pro-market reform

By John Chan, 5 June 2013

The third round of “market reform” will drive the Chinese regime into an explosive confrontation with the Chinese working class.

UN warns against social unrest in Europe

By Christoph Dreier, 4 June 2013

In the face of rising social inequality, growing unemployment and the absence of popular confidence in the region’s governments, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned Monday about the prospect of social unrest in Europe,

More austerity in Europe in face of record unemployment

By Christoph Dreier, 1 June 2013

Though euro zone unemployment hit a two-year high in April, European governments are preparing further austerity measures.

165 million children malnourished worldwide

By Jake Dean, 1 June 2013

A new report by Save the Children, Food for Thought, highlights the extraordinary impact that malnutrition has upon a child’s cognitive development.

US banks post record profits in first quarter

By Nick Barrickman, 30 May 2013

US banks posted a record $40.3 billion in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Trillions hidden in tax havens by super-rich, corporations

By Julien Kiemle, 30 May 2013

The ultra-wealthy, banks and corporations have some $32 trillion of wealth hidden in off-shore tax havens, according to a leaked cache of information.

Japanese share sell-off a sign of growing financial instability

By Nick Beams, 27 May 2013

A key element in the Japanese stock market was the fear of a crisis if the Fed cuts back its “quantitative easing” program

Global stock markets fall after 7 percent collapse in Japan’s Nikkei index

By Alex Lantier, 24 May 2013

The one-day 7.3 percent drop in Japan’s Nikkei stock index came amid signs of a growing global slump and demands for attacks on the working class in Japan.

Financial bubbles creating conditions for new crash

By Nick Beams, 21 May 2013

The very measures put in place to avert a crisis are creating the conditions for a new financial meltdown.

Sharp increase in US jobless benefit claims

By Andre Damon, 17 May 2013

Negative economic figures released this week point to continuing stagnation in the US amidst a worsening slump internationally.

Euro zone contracts for sixth consecutive quarter

By Andre Damon, 16 May 2013

The euro area economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, which was followed by further calls for austerity.

Capitalism and the crisis facing young people

By Andre Damon, 13 May 2013

Perhaps more than any other section of society, young people have been made to bear the brunt of the crisis that erupted in 2008.

Divisions between major powers dominate G-7 meeting

By Nick Beams, 13 May 2013

Differences within the G-7 over economic policy are fuelled by the fact that almost five years since the global financial crisis erupted, the world economy is marked by deepening recessionary trends.

The 15,000 Dow

By Barry Grey, 9 May 2013

In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the Dow has gained over 8,500 points, surging nearly 130 percent since it bottomed out in March of 2009.

The failure of capitalism

By Nick Beams, 3 May 2013

The collapse of the European economy points to the bankruptcy of the capitalist economic order.