World Economy

Chinese authorities launch probe into financial system fearing “Lehman moment”

By Nick Beams, 24 June 2017

The Beijing government is concerned about purchases of overseas assets using financial mechanisms outside their control.

European Central Bank still failing to meet inflation objective

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2017

Structural changes in the European economy mean low wages along with part-time and casual employment are becoming the “new normal.”

Australian economy barely avoids contraction

By Mike Head, 8 June 2017

Without spending by deeply-indebted households, the country would officially be in recession.

Uncertainty grows over US Fed’s interest rate moves

By Nick Beams, 6 June 2017

Far-reaching structural changes in the economy, above all the rise of low-paid part-time labour, have undermined the assumptions on which the Fed’s policies have been based.

Huge job losses loom in India’s IT sector

By Joy Bose and Kranti Kumara, 3 June 2017

According to industry reports, India’s IT sector could eliminate 600,000 jobs over the next three years.

The rift between Germany and America: A “watershed” moment

By Nick Beams, 29 May 2017

While there have been divergences at previous G7 meetings, this year the participants were unable to paper over their differences in the final communiqué.

Transatlantic tensions dominate G7 summit

By Peter Schwarz, 27 May 2017

Nearly a decade after the 2008 financial crisis, the conflicting interests among the imperialist powers have reached a point at which they can no longer be reconciled through talks and diplomacy.

Moody’s downgrades China’s debt rating

By Nick Beams, 26 May 2017

The sharp reaction of the Chinese finance ministry to the Moody’s downgrade decision signifies that that economic and political contradictions facing the Xi Jinping regime are increasing.

Trade splits emerge at APEC meeting

By Nick Beams, 22 May 2017

Held over the weekend, the meeting of trade ministers from the 21 members of APEC abandoned any commitment to resist protectionism.

Productivity figures and job cuts expose Trump’s growth fraud

By Nick Beams, 19 May 2017

US productivity growth is running at around one third its level before the global financial crisis of 2008.

Ford to cut as many as 20,000 jobs worldwide

By Jerry White, 17 May 2017

The job cuts explode the myth propagated by the Trump administration and the news media about the US economy reaching “full employment.”

China hosts international launch of One Belt, One Road initiative

By Nick Beams, 16 May 2017

In launching the initiative, Chinese president Xi Jinping emphasised the need for “win-win co-operation,” but there are significant tensions surrounding the project.

Apple valuation surges to over $800 billion

By Nick Beams, 12 May 2017

Apple’s market valuation and cash holdings illustrate a major shift in the mode of profit accumulation and how share values increasingly result from financial manipulation.

Apple’s $257 billion cash hoard and parasitic accumulation

By Nick Beams, 5 May 2017

There is conjecture about what Apple intends to do with its cash pile, but one thing is certain: it will be used for forms of speculation and financial manipulation.

May Day 2017

The rise of economic nationalism and protectionism

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2017

The historic crisis of the global capitalist system is now producing the very conditions that led to the economic conflicts of the 1930s and the eruption of war in 1939.

Trump steps up trade war over NAFTA

By Nick Beams, 28 April 2017

The Trump administration has signalled that it will take an aggressive economic nationalist stance in negotiations on NAFTA after making moves to withdraw altogether.

Rail companies Bombardier and Siemens plan merger

By Gustav Kemper, 25 April 2017

Since the beginning of 2017, the two rail companies have been engaged in secret merger negotiations behind the backs of their employees.

IMF meeting signals descent into global trade war

By Nick Beams, 24 April 2017

Pledges to “resist protectionism,” long included in statements issued by the world’s major global economic institutions, are now regarded as too controversial.

Latest economic data dampen US growth prospects

By Nick Beams, 22 April 2017

The stock market has lifted but consumer spending is falling and industrial production is flat.

Small uptick in growth but major downside risks remain, says IMF

By Nick Beams, 20 April 2017

The IMF reports make clear that none of the underlying problems that have beset the world economy since the eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008 has been resolved.

Trade spat precedes IMF meeting

By Nick Beams, 18 April 2017

While forecasting a “cyclical recovery”, IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde has said a “sword of protectionism” hangs over the world economy.

The domination of finance capital: Who rules the world?

By Nick Beams, 15 April 2017

There is no meaningful distinction between industrial and finance capital because, in the end, all capital is finance capital, an important study has found.

BBC documentary exposes Bank of England’s role at centre of Libor-fixing scandal

By Jean Shaoul, 13 April 2017

The Libor scandal revealed not only the criminality of the global financial system centred in London, but the massive web of corruption and complicity involving governments and financial regulators the world over.

IMF documents labour’s declining share of global income

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2017

The IMF analysis of labour’s share of income is consistent with the essential logic of capital as revealed by Marx.

China offers plan to ease trade tensions with US

By Nick Beams, 11 April 2017

Trump officials struck a conciliatory tone following discussions on trade with Chinese president Xi Jinping, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he expected “tangible results.”

Trump steps up trade war agenda

By Nick Beams, 1 April 2017

US President Donald Trump signed two protectionist executive orders Friday, signalling a return to the kind of measures that proved so disastrous in the 1930s.

Market turbulence fuels warnings on health of global economy

By Nick Beams, 30 March 2017

Two major international economic organisations, the IMF and the OECD, have voiced concerns about the impact of the US protectionist trade agenda on the stability of the world economy.

G20 conflict over protectionism: From post-war to pre-war capitalism

By Nick Beams, 24 March 2017

The post-World War II economic and trading order, constructed in the main by the US, was the product of a push to prevent the kind of protectionist and trade war measures that led to the Second World War.

Concerns over Trump crisis roil financial markets

By Barry Grey, 23 March 2017

Whatever the short-term trend on the financial markets, Tuesday’s downturn reflected the underlying unsustainability of the massively inflated stock valuations.

US blocks statement opposing protectionism in G20 communiqué

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2017

While attempts were made by G20 finance ministers to downplay the significance of the breach with the US, the decision to drop resistance to protectionism is a significant step towards a global trade war.

Trade talks in Chile on continuing TPP without the US

By James Cogan, 18 March 2017

Despite concerns expressed about protectionism, the most obvious feature of the Chile summit was the manner in which various states pursued their own national trade agendas.

European Central Bank maintains a balancing act

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2017

The ECB retained its negative base interest rate, placing it on a divergent path from the US Federal Reserve.

Trump administration document lays out trade war agenda

By Nick Beams, 7 March 2017

The Trump administration has issued a document making clear that it is taking aim at the World Trade Organisation and agreements that have governed international trade in the post-World War II period.

China lowers economic growth target

By Nick Beams, 6 March 2017

The Chinese government has cut its target in an attempt to address growing problems in the country’s financial system.

The Snap IPO: Trump agenda fuels an orgy of speculation

By Nick Beams, 3 March 2017

The massive rise in Snap Inc. stock took place amidst a surge in US markets, which has seen $3 trillion added to share values since the election of Trump.

Trump steps up trade war agenda

By Nick Beams, 28 February 2017

The objective logic of Trump’s agenda of economic war, based on “America First” leads inexorably to military conflict.

Trade growth slows to lowest level since global financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 23 February 2017

A World Bank report found that growing political uncertainty was a significant factor in the further decline in world trade growth in 2016.

Sri Lankan elite discusses “frightening economic situation”

By Saman Gunadasa, 22 February 2017

The country has been severely hit by the continuing global downturn and a prolonged drought that has destroyed key crops and driven up the prices of staple foods.

Trump’s “America First” policies and the global eruption of economic nationalism

By Nick Beams, 21 February 2017

Speaking on behalf of European capital, the London-based Financial Times has described the trade policies of the Trump administration as a “clear and present danger” to the global trading and monetary system.

Trump scraps TPP and outlines trade war agenda

By Mike Head, 23 January 2017

Ending the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a retreat into US isolationism but a ramping up of the offensive, commenced under Obama, to reassert American hegemony in Asia.

Davos annual summit: A social order confronting a growing crisis

By Nick Beams, 21 January 2017

The atmosphere at the World Economic Forum was a mixture of bewilderment over the disintegration of the present global order, coupled with fears as to where it might be leading.

India’s demonetisation scheme causing mass hardship

By Kranti Kumara, 18 January 2017

Demonitisation has forced farmers to sell to wholesalers at fire-sale prices, depressed consumer demand, and led cash-short employers to lay off workers en masse.

Oxfam issues report on eve of Davos conference

Eight billionaires control as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population

By Nick Beams, 17 January 2017

The report, released as the world’s billionaires converge on Davos, Switzerland, reveals that global inequality is even more pronounced than previously recognized.

Report to Davos summit: Rising inequality threatens “market capitalism”

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2017

The central theme of the World Economic Forum report for this year’s annual gathering of the global elites is that the very legitimacy of “market capitalism” is being called into question.

Economic nationalism and the breakdown of the post-war order

By Nick Beams, 11 January 2017

The United States was the guarantor of the post-war economic order based on the lowering of tariffs and trade barriers under the rubric of “free trade,” but Trump’s “America First” agenda signals the collapse of that order.

World’s richest increased their wealth by $237 billion in 2016

By Nick Beams, 29 December 2016

US billionaires alone have increased their wealth by $77 billion due to the rise in the stock market since the election of Trump less than two months ago.

No “Peace on Earth” in 2016

By Andre Damon, 24 December 2016

The vast scale of global violence this past year will be eclipsed only by what next year threatens to bring.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde let off scot-free after negligence conviction

By Alex Lantier, 20 December 2016

As French finance minister in 2008, Lagarde failed to do due diligence to oppose calls for a €400 million state payoff to corporate raider Bernard Tapie.

Federal Reserve hikes key rate, signals faster monetary tightening

By Barry Grey, 15 December 2016

Despite the Fed’s pledge to keep interest rates below previous norms, there were indications that, in the face of Trump’s inflationary policies, it could move quickly in the opposite direction.

Markets pushed to record highs on Trump surge

By Nick Beams, 12 December 2016

The chief component in the rise in the Dow over the past month has been a 33 percent surge in shares of Goldman Sachs, accounting for 29 percent of the stock index’s ascent.

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.