The 2008 global financial crash

Renewed surge in US mergers

By Nick Beams, 28 November 2019

Last Monday alone, takeover deals amounting to more than $70 billion were announced as multinational firms sought to tighten their grip on the markets in which they operate.

Ten years since the 2008 bank bailout

By Andre Damon, 3 October 2018

The creation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program on October 3, 2008, was the initial step in a massive redistribution of wealth and restructuring of class relations in the United States and internationally.

Adam Tooze’s Crashed: The limitations of a Left-liberal historian

By Nick Beams, 22 September 2018

The historian Adam Tooze has published a detailed account of the origins and development of the global financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath.

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.

The Big Short: The criminality of Wall Street and the crash of 2008

By Joanne Laurier, 31 December 2015

Adam McKay’s new film The Big Short is a hard-hitting comedy-drama about the 2008 financial meltdown.

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.

Socialism and the global economic crisis

By Stefan Steinberg and Barry Grey, 6 October 2011

Three years into the severest world economic crisis since the 1930s, stock markets around the world are once again tumbling as the capitalist system plunges into depression.

Two years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2010

Two years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers sparked the greatest financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, none of the underlying contradictions of the world capitalist system has been resolved.

The economic crisis and the resurgence of class conflict in the United States

By David North, 19 May 2009

The following is the text of a report given by David North, national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party, to the WSWS/SEP/ISSE regional conferences, “The world economic crisis, the failure of capitalism, and the case for socialism.”

The capitalist crisis and the return of history

By David North, 26 March 2009

David North, the national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (US), spoke last week at San Diego State University (March 19) and University of California, Berkeley (March 22) on “The Capitalist Crisis and the Return of History.” We publish here the notes upon which his lectures were based.

Nick Beams opening report to SEP summer school

The crash of 2008 and its revolutionary implications

Part 4

By Nick Beams, 7 February 2009

“What flows from our assessment of the origins of the present situation is that nothing less than an international socialist revolution can overcome the crisis of the capitalist mode of production and, moreover, that is the only way to prevent mankind being plunged into a catastrophe.”

Nick Beams opening report to SEP summer school

The crash of 2008 and its revolutionary implications

Part 3

By Nick Beams, 6 February 2009

“A breakdown of capitalism is not simply an economic crisis. It signifies the opening of a new epoch, in which the fate of society is decided for decades to come. We have entered such a period. The year 1914 signaled the first great breakdown of the capitalist order. The year 2008 marks the second.”

Nick Beams opening report to SEP summer school

The crash of 2008 and its revolutionary implications

Part 2

By Nick Beams, 5 February 2009

“A breakdown of capitalism is not simply an economic crisis. It signifies the opening of a new epoch, in which the fate of society is decided for decades to come. We have entered such a period. The year 1914 signaled the first great breakdown of the capitalist order. The year 2008 marks the second.”

Nick Beams opening report to SEP summer school

The crash of 2008 and its revolutionary implications

Part 1

By Nick Beams, 4 February 2009

“A breakdown of capitalism is not simply an economic crisis. It signifies the opening of a new epoch, in which the fate of society is decided for decades to come. We have entered such a period. The year 1914 signaled the first great breakdown of the capitalist order. The year 2008 marks the second.”

Notes on the political and economic crisis of the world capitalist system

Perspective and tasks of the Socialist Equality Party in 2009

By David North and Joseph Kishore, 13 January 2009

This report was delivered to a Midwest aggregate meeting of the Socialist Equality Party held January 10 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. David North is the national chairman of the SEP. Joseph Kishore is the national secretary of the SEP.

The crash of 2008 and the prospects for 2009

2 January 2009

2008 was the year when the supposedly impossible happened: The world capitalist system underwent a financial breakdown which now threatens to repeat, or even eclipse, that which began in 1929.

Irish banks bailed out as economy unravels

By Steve James, 31 December 2008

Already severely impacted by the global economic crisis, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan announced December 16 that up to €10 billion would be necessary to help recapitalise three of Ireland’s banks.

A lecture by Nick Beams

The World Economic Crisis: A Marxist Analysis—Part 4

By Nick Beams, 23 December 2008

The following is Part 4 of a lecture delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, to audiences in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in November and December, 2008.

A lecture by Nick Beams

The World Economic Crisis: A Marxist Analysis—Part 3

By Nick Beams, 22 December 2008

Published today is the third part of a lecture delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, to audiences in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in November and December, 2008.

Lecture by Nick Beams

The World Economic Crisis: A Marxist Analysis

Part 2

By Nick Beams, 20 December 2008

The following is the second part of a lecture delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, to audiences in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in November and December, 2008.

A lecture by Nick Beams

The World Economic Crisis: A Marxist Analysis

Part 1

By Nick Beams, 19 December 2008

The following is the first part of a lecture delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, to audiences in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in November and December, 2008. Part 2 will be published tomorrow and subsequent parts over the next few days.

The Madoff scandal

16 December 2008

The removal of any regulatory restraint on the operations of the banks and finance houses over the past three decades is itself an expression of the crisis and decay of American capitalism. The hallmark of this process is the growth of financial parasitism.

Audience members discuss Nick Beams’s lecture

15 December 2008

After Nick Beams’s lectures on “The World Economic Crisis: A Marxist Analysis,” WSWS correspondents asked audience members for their impressions and reactions.

Nick Beams presents Marxist analysis of global economic breakdown to Australian audiences

By our reporters, 15 December 2008

Appreciative audiences heard Nick Beams, a member of the WSWS International Editorial Board and national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia, deliver a powerful series of lectures on “The World Economic Crisis—A Marxist Analysis” in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney over the past two weeks.

Iceland: A portent of the future

29 November 2008

Iceland is facing a social and economic catastrophe. Its 300,000 people have suffered the worst and most immediate impact of the worldwide financial crisis of any advanced country. For that reason, the events in Iceland offer a portent of developments that must inevitably unfold in much larger nations and on the international arena.

US bails out Citigroup and prepares to give trillions more to banks

By Barry Grey, 25 November 2008

The government bailout of Citigroup marks a new stage in the utilization of the public treasury to rescue Wall Street banks and finance houses.

G-20 summit: More like London 1933 than Bretton Woods 1944

15 November 2008

The G-20 summit being held in Washington today takes place amid the worst economic and financial breakdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s. But notwithstanding the calls for the remaking of the international financial system, the summit will provide no solutions to the rapidly deepening crisis.

Wall Street’s Great Heist of 2008

1 November 2008

The Wall Street Journal published a front-page article Friday reporting that the nine biggest US banks, which have received a combined $125 billion in taxpayer funds as part of the $700 billion bailout authored by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and passed by the Democratic Congress, owed their executives more than $40 billion for recent years’ compensation and pensions as of the end of 2007.

The “dirty little secret” of the US bank bailout

27 October 2008

In an unusually frank article published in Saturday’s New York Times, economic columnist Joe Nocera reveals that the banking industry has no intention of using the government bailout money to make new loans.

US layoffs mount, home foreclosures rise

By Patrick O’Connor, 24 October 2008

Indicators of a worsening social crisis in the US are mounting daily as the economic downturn takes an ever greater toll on jobs.

Eastern European economies face bankruptcy

By Niall Green, 23 October 2008

The economies of central and eastern Europe are being rocked by the crisis of world capitalism, compounded by the corrupt and pro-big business policies of their local elites.

France: €360 billion to bail out the banks

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 October 2008

The French National Assembly has endorsed the government’s €360 billion rescue plan for the banks by a wide majority.

IMF: Spain to be hit hard by recession

By Keith Lee and Paul Bond, 20 October 2008

A recent forecast by the IMF predicts Spain will enter recession next year and will be “harder-hit than other countries.”

German government rushes through €500 billion rescue package

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 October 2008

Chancellor Angela Merkel expressly defended her government’s €500 billion “rescue package” for the banks in a statement to the German parliament on Wednesday.

Australian share market’s “black Friday”: another sign of economic crisis

By Mike Head, 11 October 2008

Far from Australian capitalism being sheltered from the global financial storm--as the media and the Rudd government have been claiming for months--the rout of the Australian share markets and dollar demonstrate its great vulnerability amid growing signs of a serious recession internationally.

Labour government pledges up to £500 billion for Britain’s banks

By Jean Shaoul, 9 October 2008

It is a measure of the depth of the crisis facing the British and world economy that a pledge by the Labour government to make £500 billion available to the high street banks failed to stem continued losses on the stock markets.

Irish government organises massive support package for banks

By Jordan Shilton, 6 October 2008

The Irish government announced on September 30 a plan to guarantee all deposits in the country's six major domestic financial institutions, a move whose cost could approach the sum the US will make available to bail out Wall Street.

The Wall Street bailout and the threat of dictatorship

By Bill Van Auken (Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate), 2 October 2008

Recriminations have continued to reverberate internationally over the vote in the US House of Representatives Monday to reject a $700 billion bailout package for the Wall Street banks.

Banking crisis hits Germany with full force

Billions for speculators

By Peter Schwarz, 2 October 2008

For the past 10 years, all of the cuts made in the public services have been justified with the argument that it was necessary to balance the German federal budget by the year 2011.

Benelux countries intervene to bail out Fortis

The rise and fall of Fortis

By Stephan Steinberg, 1 October 2008

Stock markets across Europe tumbled on Monday following the news that leading banks across the continent were facing collapse.

Washington Mutual assets acquired by JPMorgan Chase

Biggest US bank failure ever

By Barry Grey, 27 September 2008

Another US banking giant fell Thursday, with the government seizure of Washington Mutual and the purchase of its operations and assets by JPMorgan Chase.

The ties that bind: Dodd, Schumer and Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 24 September 2008

There is nothing mysterious about the abject servility exhibited by the members of the Senate Banking Committee toward Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at Tuesday’s hearing.

No to Wall Street bailout! The socialist answer to the financial crisis

By Socialist Equality Party National Committee, 22 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party and its presidential and vice presidential candidates, Jerome White and Bill Van Auken, unequivocally oppose the plan to bail out Wall Street with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer funds announced by the Bush administration and embraced by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership.

Lloyds TSB takeover of HBOS leaves Britain’s banks in trouble

By Julie Hyland, 20 September 2008

Lloyds TSB’s £12 billion takeover of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) Thursday followed a collapse of the UK’s largest mortgage lenders’ shares, which threatened to destablise the entire British banking system.

US Federal Reserve announces $85 billion bailout of insurance giant AIG

By Bill Van Auken, 17 September 2008

Following emergency consultations between the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury and the Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday night announced a bailout of the Wall Street insurance giant American International Group (AIG).

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

By Barry Grey, 16 September 2008

The end of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the largest Wall Street investment banks, one week after the government takeover of the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, marks a new stage in the convulsive crisis of American capitalism.

US bailout of mortgage giants sets stage for wider financial crisis

By Barry Grey, 12 September 2008

Since the Bush administration announced on Sunday the US government takeover of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in the largest corporate bailout in American history, developments have underscored the profound and systemic nature of the crisis that precipitated the action.

Record corporate bailout reveals the bankruptcy of American capitalism

By Barry Grey, 10 September 2008

The US government takeover of the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has dealt a shattering blow to the ideology of market capitalism, which has been used for decades to justify a relentless assault on the working class and a vast transfer of wealth to the American ruling elite.

US government takes over mortgage giants to stave off financial meltdown

By Bill Van Auken, 8 September 2008

In the biggest government intervention in the American economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the US Treasury Department announced Sunday that it is effectively nationalizing the two mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

US government bails out mortgage giants

By Nick Beams, 14 July 2008

The crisis in the US financial system has taken a major turn for the worse with the announcement on Sunday that the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board are to take emergency action to prop up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Shades of 1929: the global implications of the US banking collapse

Part 3

By Nick Beams, 18 April 2008

The following is the final part of a report delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia and a member of the World Socialist Web Site international editorial board, to public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne on April 9 and 15. Part 1 was published on April 16 and Part 2 on April 17. Beams, an international authority on Marxist political economy, is the author of regular WSWS articles and analyses on globalisation and political economy.

Shades of 1929: the global implications of the US banking collapse

Part 2

By Nick Beams, 17 April 2008

The following is the second part of a report delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia and a member of the World Socialist Web Site international editorial board, to public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne on April 9 and 15. Part 1 was published on April 16 and the concluding third part will be published on April 18. Beams, an international authority on Marxist political economy, is the author of regular WSWS articles and analyses on globalisation and political economy.

Shades of 1929: the global implications of the US banking collapse

Part 1

By Nick Beams, 16 April 2008

The following is the first part of a report delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia and a member of the World Socialist Web Site international editorial board, to public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne on April 9 and 15. Part 2 and Part 3 of the report will be published on April 17 and 18 respectively. Beams, an international authority on Marxist political economy, is the author of regular WSWS articles and analyses on globalisation and political economy.

Shades of 1929: Bear Stearns collapse signals deepest crisis since Great Depression

By the editorial board, 18 March 2008

However the events on Wall Street play out during the next few weeks, there is no question but that a crisis of historic magnitude is now unfolding. After a generation of relentless media propaganda, which touted the infallibility of the capitalist market and the genius of Wall Street’s financial wizards, the United States economy now stands on the very brink of an economic breakdown on a scale not seen since the Great Depression.

Fed rescue of Bear Stearns raises specter of Depression-era crash

By Barry Grey, 15 March 2008

The Federal Reserve Board on Friday took emergency action to prevent the collapse of Bear Stearns, the fifth largest US investment bank and one of the world’s largest finance and brokerage houses.

The world crisis of capitalism and the prospects for socialism

Part three

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2008

Below we are publishing the third part of the opening report given by Nick Beams to an international school held by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sydney, Australia from January 21 to January 25. Beams is a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site and the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia.

The world crisis of capitalism and the prospects for socialism

Part two

By Nick Beams, 1 February 2008

Below we are publishing the second part of the opening report given by Nick Beams to an international school held by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sydney, Australia from January 21 to January 25. Beams is a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site and the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia.

The world crisis of capitalism and the prospects for socialism

Part one

By Nick Beams, 31 January 2008

Below we are publishing the first part of the opening report given by Nick Beams to an international school held by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sydney, Australia from January 21 to January 25. Beams is a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site and the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia.

Notes on the political and economic crisis of the world capitalist system and the perspective and tasks of the Socialist Equality Party

By David North, 11 January 2008

The following report was given by David North, national secretary of the SEP, at a national aggregate meeting held January 5-6 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Click here for PDF version.