European Economy

Corbyn, Brexit and the struggle for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 December 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has cast himself as a guarantor of national stability, denouncing the inability of May and the Conservatives to “end the chaos.”

Turmoil on Wall Street continues

By Nick Beams, 11 December 2018

Concerns over global growth are a significant factor in the ongoing slide and volatility in US markets, with signs of a downturn reflected in the fall of commodity prices.

Parliamentary debate on Brexit deal begins after three defeats for May government

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2018

Whatever happens in the Brexit crisis, Britain is in the grip of a historic crisis of rule that threatens to unleash social upheavals.

German prosecutor’s office raids Deutsche Bank

By Johannes Stern, 3 December 2018

The spokesperson for the investigating authority said that, due to the extent of material, an additional search of the bank’s offices was necessary.

Tens of thousands of retail jobs lost in UK

By Margot Miller, 23 November 2018

The list of closures in the retail industry reads like a cull, with 85,000 jobs already lost this year.

Global conditions fuel Wall Street sell-off

By Nick Beams, 22 November 2018

The market has trended down since the start of October, led largely by high-tech stocks, but this week the falls broadened.

Budget dispute between Italy and EU escalates

By Peter Schwarz, 22 November 2018

If the financial markets impose further interest-rate increases on Italian government bonds, it could lead to a chain reaction of bank bankruptcies across the whole of Europe.

European Commission rejects Italy’s 2019 budget

By Alexandre Lantier and Marianne Arens, 24 October 2018

The EU’s first-ever decision to formally strike down the budget of a member state points to growing class and international tensions tearing the EU apart.

PSOE and Podemos jointly present Spanish budget to the European Union

By Alejandro López, 24 October 2018

Faced with growing strikes, the PSOE-Podemos government, in a cynical attempt to win support, is proposing wage increases in a budget it knows will be voted down.

European Union and Rome fight over Italian budget

By Marianne Arens, 20 October 2018

In the conflict over the Italian budget, the EU Commission takes the side of the banks, stock exchanges and credit agencies, while the government pursues a course of militarism and attacks on immigrants and workers.

British PM addresses EU summit as “no deal” Brexit threatened

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2018

With the government in turmoil, Labour is advancing itself as a responsible representative of the British ruling elite.

Wall Street fall continues in day of swings

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2018

All major US indexes are now below their 200-day moving average, which is regarded as a key indicator of the market’s direction.

IMF chief warns of rising risks facing global economy

By Nick Beams, 2 October 2018

The IMF is set to downgrade its forecast for global growth amid rising trade tensions.

Federal Reserve lifts interest rates and indicates further hikes

By Nick Beams, 27 September 2018

For the first time since the Fed began its low-interest rate regime after the financial crisis of 2008, its base rate is above the level of inflation, indicating that wages are a key target.

Labour’s John McDonnell embraces Blairite “new economy” plan

By Laura Tiernan, 19 September 2018

Labour’s endorsement of the IPPR plan makes clear that, behind the talk about governing “for the many, not the few,” Corbyn and his allies are adopting trade war policies.

IMF pushes for more social cuts in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 3 September 2018

Amid growing strikes of miners and other workers, the IMF is using the corruption of the Ukrainian oligarchy to push for social cuts.

IMF pushes for more social cuts in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 31 August 2018

Amid growing strikes of miners and other workers, the IMF is using the corruption of the Ukrainian oligarchy to push for social cuts.

Nearly 90,000 retail jobs lost in UK in 12 months

By Barry Mason, 25 August 2018

Retailers are shifting employees from secure full-time contracts to less secure ones with “less rigidity and more flexibility.”

Rifts emerge in US-EU trade deal

By Nick Beams, 31 July 2018

The Trump administration is keeping a gun at the head of the EU over auto tariffs as it continues an investigation into whether to impose them on “national security” grounds.

The Trump-Juncker agreement: A manoeuvre in the global trade war

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2018

The threat by Washington to impose a 25 percent tariff on auto imports has not been removed, but only suspended while negotiations go ahead on broader trade relations.

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

OECD report details

A global economic “recovery” without wage increases

By Patrick Martin, 6 July 2018

A report by the grouping of 36 most economically developed countries found that the proliferation of low-wage, part-time jobs has held down wage growth for workers throughout the world.

European Union warns of global trade war if US auto tariffs go ahead

By Nick Beams, 2 July 2018

An EU submission to the US Commerce Department warns of major reprisals if the Trump administration goes ahead with auto tariffs.

After tariff measures against China

Trump threatens to escalate trade war with Europe

By Nick Beams, 23 June 2018

Central bankers at a meeting in Sintra, Portugal, voiced their concerns about the developing global trade war.

Deep divisions over US trade policies at G7 finance ministers meeting

By Nick Beams, 4 June 2018

The statement from the G7, agreed to by Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, pointed to the “negative impact of the unilateral trade actions of the United States.”

Backlash against US over tariffs

By Nick Beams, 2 June 2018

The European Union is pushing ahead with counter-measures against the US. It is expected to announce its final list of products to be targeted later this month.

Over 10,000 jobs at risk at Deutsche Bank

By Gustav Kemper, 31 May 2018

Germany’s crisis-ridden Deutsche Bank has already slashed 6,000 jobs and closed 188 branches in the past few years.

Naming of technocratic government plunges Italy into crisis of class rule

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2018

Financial markets are panicking and protests are being called, as bitter divisions inside the Italian bourgeoisie erupt to the surface.

European Central Bank points to slowing economic growth

By Nick Beams, 27 April 2018

The ECB appears to have adopted a “wait and see” approach on monetary policy in light of the latest eurozone slowdown.

US issues ultimatums to IMF on trade

By Nick Beams, 23 April 2018

Adopting the tone of an overlord, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin demanded that the IMF back Washington in its drive against what it claims are “unfair global trade practices.”

White House considers “national emergency” powers against Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 21 April 2018

Under a 1977 law, president Trump could declare a national emergency in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat” which would allow him to block transactions and even to seize assets.

IMF remains upbeat on global economy but trade conflicts sound a jarring note

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2018

The IMF chief economist said it seemed “paradoxical” that major economies were “flirting with trade war” at a time of economic expansion.

World economy in danger of being “torn apart”

By Nick Beams, 13 April 2018

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that as a result of easy financial conditions, global debt—public and private—has reached an all-time high of $164 trillion.

The looming threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 29 March 2018

The volatility reflects the speculative character of the share market’s rise and the fears that a global trade war could puncture this bubble.

Russian economy stagnates as presidential election approaches

By Andrea Peters, 10 March 2018

Russians will head to the polls on March 18, as the Kremlin touts an economic recovery that leaves millions behind.

EU threatens retaliation to Trump’s trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 3 March 2018

Trump’s announcement of global tariffs on steel and aluminium has triggered international criticism, including from US allies that will be among the hardest hit.

The growing threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 24 February 2018

Two major initiatives by the Trump administration over the past month have ratcheted up global tensions, bringing the threat of retaliatory actions from the European Union and China.

Global markets plunge as Dow records biggest ever one-day point fall

By Nick Beams, 6 February 2018

One of the most significant features of yesterday’s decline was its speed with the Dow plunging 900 points in just 11 minutes in an avalanche of selling.

The contradictions of the bitcoin-blockchain frenzy

By Nick Beams, 23 December 2017

In seeking to grasp the significance of the present frenzy, it is worth recalling the analysis made by Marx of previous financial bubbles, in particular those associated with the expansion of the credit system, which began in the mid-nineteenth century.

UK living standards facing longest decline in more than 60 years

By Julie Hyland, 27 November 2017

Average earnings of workers in 2021 are expected to be lower in real terms than in 2008.

European Central Bank to continue bond-buying program

By Nick Beams, 27 October 2017

Draghi’s supporters on the ECB governing council prevailed against a push to set a date to end its quantitative easing policy.

Far-right nationalist groups march in Kiev

By Jason Melanovski, 23 October 2017

Recent rallies in Ukraine’s capital point to a growing crisis of the Poroshenko regime.

IMF report points to financial dangers lurking beneath global growth

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2017

Central banks confront an acute contradiction: attempts to normalise monetary policy may trigger a financial crisis, but continuing the flow of easy money is creating unsustainable debt levels.

Outgoing German finance minister warns of financial bubbles

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2017

Schäuble said he had “no idea when the next crisis will happen” but economists all over the world were concerned about the rise of liquidity and debt.

Bank for International Settlements voices concern over finance markets

By Nick Beams, 19 September 2017

The BIS has warned that the slow pace in normalising central bank interest rates and ending quantitative easing is setting up financial markets for a shock when interest rates do rise.

ECB makes first move to wind back quantitative easing

By Nick Beams, 9 September 2017

The class agenda of the ECB emerged when president Mario Draghi called for the further elimination of job protection as he backed reforms by the Macron presidency in France.

Massive fire in Rostov, Russia destroys 123 houses

By Clara Weiss, 29 August 2017

Residents said they believe the fire was allowed to burn out of control with the aim of driving out impoverished residents in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Conservative government review of UK “gig economy”—a whitewash for the corporations

By Thomas Scripps, 28 August 2017

The report’s bias in favour of employers is not an oversight, as the political establishment that Matthew Taylor speaks for has no intention of bringing “precarious employment” under control.

ECB offers reassurance to anxious financial markets

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2017

ECB president Mario Draghi said there were indications of economic growth but this was yet to translate into underlying inflation dynamics.

Transatlantic tensions dominate G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 10 July 2017

Despite cobbling together a unanimous resolution, the G20 summit was, by any measure, the most fractious meeting of major political leaders in the post-war period.

Barclays PLC charged with fraud by UK Serious Fraud Office

By Jean Shaoul, 1 July 2017

The prosecution has nothing to do with the criminal and reckless banking behaviour that precipitated the crash, but instead relates to Barclays’ rescue

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.”

Royal Bank of Scotland seeks to avoid High Court action by shareholders

By Jean Shaoul, 27 May 2017

Former senior RBS executives have never had to make a public account of the events leading up to the bank’s collapse in 2008, when it was rescued by then Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Alitalia bankruptcy exacerbates social tensions in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 5 May 2017

In a recent vote two-thirds of Alitalia pilots, flight attendants and ground crew rejected planned job cuts and pay cuts.

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.

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.

UK think tank warns of fall in economic growth and rising inequality

By Margot Miller, 16 February 2017

Planned changes to the tax and benefit system mean that the poorest 10 percent in society will be 3.1 percent worse off, which translates into a loss of £314 a year.

New report documents extreme poverty in Poland

By Clara Weiss, 11 January 2017

The report reveals the miserable living conditions facing broad sections of the working class and the peasant population who lack access to basic elements of civilization.

Brexit seized on by Scottish government to mount new power grab

By Steve James, 28 December 2016

The Scottish National Party government are hoping to directly benefit from the Brexit debacle by laying claim to additional powers for the Scottish parliament.

Monte Paschi bank will seek Italian state bailout

By Alex Lantier and Marianne Arens, 23 December 2016

As Europe slides ever deeper into slump, tens of billions of euros are to be handed to the financial aristocracy in a bailout that only sets the stage for more social attacks.

Irish government defends tax dodging by Apple

By Chris Marsden, 21 December 2016

The Fine Gael government opposes demands by the European Union that the American technology giant pay $13 billion in back taxes.

Germany’s low-wage sector is expanding

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 20 December 2016

More than one in five Germans work for a wage of less than €10 per hour.

Finnish government prepares new attacks on working class

By Ennis Wynne, 20 December 2016

The attack on the living standards of the working class is set to intensify due to Finland’s escalating economic crisis.

Berlin’s Humboldt University plans massive job cuts

By Katerina Selin, 19 December 2016

The latest developments at Humboldt University are linked to the drastic austerity policy of the Berlin Senate regarding higher education.

Bank of England governor warns of the “spectre of communism”

By Richard Tyler, 12 December 2016

Mark Carney compared the crisis today with the period of revolutionary upheavals that swept across Europe in 1848.

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.

"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.

Poverty on the rise in Europe

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 29 November 2016

According to the latest study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, 118 million people live in poverty in the EU. This equates to one in four EU citizens.

Growing concerns in Europe over Trump agenda

By Nick Beams, 26 November 2016

The European Central Bank has warned of increased financial turbulence as a result of the rise in interest rates and the trade policies of a Trump administration.

UK government Autumn Statement: Economic crisis accelerates after Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 24 November 2016

Workers whose living standards have already been devastated face more years of brutal austerity.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ECB signals more austerity amid mounting economic divisions in Europe

By Alex Lantier, 23 September 2016

Despite a deepening economic slump, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi signaled continued austerity against workers and handouts to the 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.

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.

Spanish economic recovery through savaging workers’ living standards

By James Lerner, 9 September 2016

Millions have been plunged into poverty as the wealth of the elite has soared.

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.”

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.”

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.

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.

Growing opposition in Berlin to exorbitant rents and evictions

By Verena Nees, 1 August 2016

The city is increasingly divided: discernible poverty and a growing housing crisis for many families—wealth and success for a super-rich glitterati.

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.

Syriza government cuts pensions and privatises state property in Greece

By Katerina Selin, 6 July 2016

While the Syriza government is throwing pensioners into even more dire poverty, they are also selling off state property to foreign investors.

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.

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.

Greece’s Syriza government presses ahead with privatisations

By Katerina Selin, 17 June 2016

The Syriza-led government, elected on a wave of opposition to austerity, is presiding over a sweeping sell-off of state assets for the benefit of the Greek and European financial elites.

The financial skulduggery behind the collapse of UK retailer BHS

By Jean Shaoul, 14 June 2016

While the press have called the revelations “extraordinary” and “shocking,” implying that the events behind the collapse of BHS are a “one-off,” these corporate practices are the norm.

Bond yields fall as fears rise over global economic growth

By Nick Beams, 11 June 2016

As the pile of negative yielding government debt passes the $10 trillion mark, it has been described as a “supernova that will explode one day.”