US Economy

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.

Walmart to cut 7,000 back-office jobs in the US

By Jessica Goldstein, 29 September 2016

The announcement of mass layoffs at the largest employer in the US comes amid a wave of cuts in the retail industry.

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.

Pennsylvania workers’ wages decline while rich become richer

By Douglas Lyons, 26 September 2016

A recent report underscores the economic decline workers have experienced over the past half century while the super-rich carried out a “radical redistribution” of wealth.

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.

Wells Fargo executive overseeing fraud receives $124.6 million retirement

By Gabriel Black, 17 September 2016

Carrie Tolstedt has made tens of millions overseeing massive consumer fraud as Wells Fargo’s Vice President for community banking.

Further considerations on the household income report: Poverty and inequality in America

By Patrick Martin, 15 September 2016

The Obama administration and the Democratic Party have seized on the latest Census Bureau report as support for their bogus claims of a genuine economic recovery.

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.

Drone Valley: The University of California and the business of high-tech slaughter

By Toby Reese, 12 September 2016

The appointment of a number of new academics and scientists to the University of California, San Diego’s (UCSD) Contextual Robotics Institute is bound up with the US drive to war.

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.

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.”

Mass layoff at Harley-Davidson in York, Pennsylvania

By Douglas Lyons, 5 September 2016

Harley-Davidson has recently announced approximately 200 workers will be laid off due to declining profits.

US lost 14,000 manufacturing jobs in August

By Shelley Connor, 3 September 2016

The publication of a lackluster jobs report by the Labor Department followed the announcement by Wal-Mart that it plans to slash 7,000 jobs.

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.”

“The union is letting the company do what it wants”

Fiat Chrysler CEO issues threat to Detroit jeep workers

By Shannon Jones, 1 September 2016

In a not so veiled warning, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchione told Jefferson North workers last week that the status of their facility is up in the air.

Obama success story: Third biggest stock market boom since 1900

By E.P. Bannon, 31 August 2016

The Obama bull market is the product of years of pro-corporate, anti-working class policies, including the bailout of the banks and attacks on wages and benefits.

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.

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.

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.

Cisco to cut 5,500 jobs, adding to wave of US tech layoffs

By Barry Grey, 19 August 2016

So far this year, American technology companies have eliminated 63,000 jobs.

As growth prospects fall, US markets hit record high

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2016

The rise in the markets and the underlying weakening of the real economy are interconnected phenomena as finance seeks to accumulate profits through parasitism.

The impact of financial parasitism

Record US share prices amid economic slump and social decay

By Barry Grey, 13 August 2016

The surge in stock and bond prices has come amid mounting indications of stagnation in the real economy and a worsening social crisis.

Signs of slowdown in US auto industry

By Shannon Jones, 13 August 2016

Ford, General Motors and Toyota recorded sales declines in July.

Wall Street celebrates mass layoffs by Macy’s

By Patrick Martin, 12 August 2016

The largest US department store chain announced it would close 100 stores, which will likely eliminate more than 12,000 jobs.

Trump speech in Detroit: Tax cuts for the wealthy combined with nationalist demagogy

By Patrick Martin, 10 August 2016

Both Clinton and Trump are fully committed to increasing the wealth of the corporate and financial elite at the expense of working people.

Clinton, Obama tout tepid US jobs report

By Shannon Jones, 6 August 2016

A closer look at the employment numbers for July reveals many indications of continuing economic stagnation and deepening hardship for wide layers of the population.

US homeownership rate falls to lowest level in 51 years

By Gabriel Black, 3 August 2016

Declining household income and rising rent prices are preventing workers and young people from owning homes.

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.

Farm equipment giant John Deere lays off 120 workers as sales plummet

By George Gallanis, 1 August 2016

The third round of layoffs in 2016 raises the total number of workers cut by Deere in the US to 2,000 over the last two years.

US government investigates allegations Fiat-Chrysler falsified sales figures

By Shannon Jones, 23 July 2016

The auto company confirmed that it is under investigation by both the SEC and the FBI for an alleged scheme to pad its monthly sales totals.

Study shows funding down, tuition up at US public universities and colleges

By Buster Haycook, 22 July 2016

Years of cuts in state funding for public colleges and universities have driven up tuition and have led to faculty reductions, fewer course offerings and campus closings.

Incomes declining or stagnant for the vast majority in “rich” countries

By Gabriel Black, 16 July 2016

A new report from McKinsey Global Institute finds that for most people in the advanced capitalist countries there has been no recovery from the 2008 Wall Street crash.

US Justice Department blocked prosecution of HSBC bank for drug cartel money laundering

By Gabriel Black, 15 July 2016

The House Financial Services Committee report makes clear that the Obama administration’s failure to hold criminally liable a single leading Wall Street figure is the result of a highly conscious and systematic policy.

US unemployment rate rises despite rebound in new jobs

By Tom Hall, 9 July 2016

The number of people counted as unemployed actually increased by 347,000, a higher figure than the number of jobs added.

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.”

Economic inequality soars in US

By Patrick Martin, 2 July 2016

Average incomes of the top 1 percent rose twice as fast as the incomes of the remaining 99 percent of Americans in 2015.

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.

Dow Chemical slashes 2,500 jobs ahead of DuPont merger

By our reporter, 30 June 2016

The layoffs, which will hit workers in Michigan, North Carolina and Japan, are just the beginning of the bloodletting being prepared by the merging chemical giants.

Illinois public sector devastated as budget impasse approaches one-year mark

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 June 2016

Many parts of state and local government will soon run out of money as the Democratic-controlled state legislature and the Republican governor continue wrangling over how to slash public services.

Financial market turmoil continues in wake of Brexit vote

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2016

British government leaders have issued statements claiming they have the situation under control, but to no avail as financial markets continue to plummet.

After Brexit, mounting warnings of global slump and financial panic

By Andre Damon, 27 June 2016

The ongoing sell-off in global financial markets comes amid a chorus of warnings by international institutions that the world economy faces a deepening crisis.

Reports document social crisis

US wages and jobs decline, inequality rises

By Patrick Martin, 23 June 2016

Two reports issued over the past week shed light on the deepening social crisis in the United States and the deteriorating economic position of the working class.

IMF cuts estimates for US economic growth and points to worsening long-term trends

By Nick Beams, 23 June 2016

The IMF’s latest report on the US economy highlights “pernicious” tendencies that will impact heavily on growth and economic well-being.

On eve of Brexit referendum, mounting warnings of global trade war

By Andre Damon, 22 June 2016

The World Trade Organization warned that protectionist measures by leading economies has hit the highest level on records dating back to 2009.

The return of “secular stagnation”

By Nick Beams, 17 June 2016

Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen’s comments on Wednesday pointed to the emergence of “secular stagnation” in the global economy, a term first developed in the 1930s.

Fed holds interest rates amid mounting global turmoil

By Nick Beams, 16 June 2016

The Fed decision to keep interest rates on hold is an expression of the fact that what were once considered “normal” operations of the capitalist economy are breaking down.

Markets applaud speech by Fed Chair Yellen signaling delay in rate hikes

By Barry Grey, 8 June 2016

The response of markets to signs of economic distress and signals that the Fed will keep cheap credit flowing was typical of the period since the financial crash—relief and exultation.

US economy adds fewest jobs in five years

By Evan Blake, 4 June 2016

The US economy added only 38,000 jobs in May, the fewest since 2010, in another indication of the persistent slump gripping the US economy.

Economic conflicts threaten global trade war

By Nick Beams, 3 June 2016

The decision by the US International Trade Commission to launch an investigation into 40 Chinese steel producers has far-reaching implications.

US death rate rose in 2015

By Niles Niemuth, 2 June 2016

The mortality rate in the United States increased across the board last year, reflecting the impact of mass unemployment, austerity, stagnating wages and benefit cuts.

Warnings of slump in US economy

By Nick Beams, 28 May 2016

Falling investment and declining productivity threaten to trap the US economy in what commentators are calling a “low-growth mode.”

Currency conflicts surface at G-7 meeting

By Nick Beams, 23 May 2016

As with other major economic summits in the recent period, the weekend meeting of the G-7 could reach no agreement on co-ordinated measures to halt the stagnation of the global economy.

Sports Authority to close all stores, lay off 16,000

By George Gallanis, 21 May 2016

The announcement by Sports Authority (SA) follows a wave of recent closures from other retail companies.

US department store sales plunge, jobless claims rise

By Barry Grey, 17 May 2016

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

East Cleveland, Ohio seeks bankruptcy protection

By Samuel Davidson, 16 May 2016

East Cleveland, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, is seeking permission to file for bankruptcy.

Highest-earning US hedge fund managers raked in $13 billion last year

By Niles Niemuth, 11 May 2016

The top hedge fund managers made more in a year than the cost of replacing all lead pipes in Flint, Michigan and fixing the city’s poisoned public water system.

Slowest US job growth in seven months

By Barry Grey, 7 May 2016

In typical fashion, President Obama and others in his administration attempted to present the April jobs report as a positive vindication of their economic policies.

Deepening contradictions within the global economy

By Nick Beams, 5 May 2016

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

Poverty has become more concentrated under Obama

By Nancy Hanover, 2 May 2016

A new study reveals the dramatic increase in “high poverty” districts throughout the US in the wake of the 2008 crash.

Apple sales decline points to faultlines in global economy

By Barry Grey, 28 April 2016

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

Peabody Energy declares bankruptcy

By Clement Daly, 26 April 2016

Amidst the deepening global economic crisis, the world’s largest coal company declared bankruptcy, threatening the living standards and working conditions of its 7,100 global workforce.

Seven dead, hundreds homeless in Houston, Texas flood

By Shelley Connor, 20 April 2016

Houston’s working class residents have been forced to flee rising waters with little assistance from the city or state governments.

Financial crisis panel urged Obama administration to prosecute top bankers

By Gabriel Black, 16 April 2016

Not a single bank executive or government official referred by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to the Obama Justice Department for criminal investigation has been prosecuted.

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

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2016

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

Fiat Chrysler layoffs hit workers in suburban Detroit

By Jerry White, 8 April 2016

The announcement that Fiat Chrysler is cutting 1,420 jobs at its Sterling Heights assembly plant foreshadows a new wave of downsizing in the auto industry.

Fiat Chrysler axing 1,400 jobs at Sterling Heights, Michigan plant

By Shannon Jones, 7 April 2016

The company is permanently eliminating one shift at the passenger car plant in suburban Detroit due to slumping sales.

Pennsylvania budget underfunds education, prepares attack on pensions

By Douglas Lyons, 4 April 2016

The deal leaves an estimated $2 billion deficit unresolved until the next fiscal year.

The social crisis and the US elections

By Barry Grey, 2 April 2016

Behind the phony economic “recovery,” the entire structure of employment in the United States is being radically altered to reduce the status of workers to that of a super-exploited casual labor force.

Following Machinists union betrayal

Boeing to slash 4,000-8,000 jobs

By Barry Grey, 31 March 2016

Both the IAM and the SPEEA reacted to the announcement of the job cuts with impotent appeals to the state legislature to bar the company from slashing jobs.

Global oil industry job losses continue to mount

By Tom Hall, 28 March 2016

Around 100,000 jobs have been lost in the US alone since 2015, with tens of thousands more job losses expected this year.

Michigan Kids Count report shows drastic rise in child poverty over last decade

By Zac Corrigan, 28 March 2016

Eighty of Michigan’s 83 counties show an increase in child poverty, with the statewide rate increasing by 23 percent since 2006.

Coal giant Peabody Energy on verge of bankruptcy

By Clement Daly, 22 March 2016

In a string of bankruptcies, the courts are being used to attack the wages, pensions, health care and working conditions of miners—gains realized through decades of struggle.

New study says entire regions of US will remain in slump until the 2020s

By Jerry White, 21 March 2016

The figures on persistently high unemployment in large sections of the country coincide with new layoffs in the oil, coal, steel and other manufacturing industries in the US.

US Steel layoffs hit another 770 workers

By Samuel Davidson, 21 March 2016

The latest cuts at US Steel come just months after the USW passed a contract granting the company millions of dollars in concessions and cuts to health and retiree benefits.

US Federal Reserve aligns itself closer to market demands

By Nick Beams, 17 March 2016

Wednesday’s announcement by the US central bank that it intends to keep interest rates on hold and reduce the pace of rate hikes was welcomed by financial markets.

Study: Worsening conditions for young people throughout the developed world

By Nick Barrickman, 15 March 2016

Drawing on income statistics from eight of the world’s 15 most advanced economies, the series paints a picture of dimming social prospects for young people.

Hundreds of millions in cuts on the horizon in Louisiana

By Tom Hall, 15 March 2016

Education and health care, two areas of spending not protected from cuts by the state’s constitution, have faced years of budget-slashing.

Central banks confront unintended consequences

By Nick Beams, 15 March 2016

Markets are awaiting decisions by the Bank of Japan and the US Fed on monetary policies as concerns grow over negative interest rates.

UAW sanctions mass layoffs by farm equipment giant John Deere

By George Gallanis, 14 March 2016

Since November, John Deere has laid off 445 workers with the full complicity of the United Auto Workers.

Minnesota’s Iron Range hammered by steel industry layoffs

By a correspondent, 11 March 2016

The United Steelworkers and the Democratic Party have responded with nationalist demagogy, blaming China for “illegal dumping” of steel products on the US market.

US steel union hails Obama trade war measures

By Shannon Jones, 10 March 2016

Predictably, the USW showered praise on the Obama administration for measures targeting imported rolled steel.

Nearly one-third of US food stamp recipients rely on food pantries

By Kate Randall, 9 March 2016

A USDA study found that about 45 percent of SNAP clients limited food consumption, usually by skipping meals, to make it through the month.

TVA pension cuts: A new stage in the assault on American workers

By Niles Williamson, 5 March 2016

The attack on the pensions of federal employees is a warning that no section of the working class is exempt from the social counterrevolution being carried out in the interests of the financial aristocracy.

US employment report: Payrolls rise, wages fall

By Barry Grey, 5 March 2016

According to the Labor Department’s household survey, only 11.7 percent of new jobs created in February were full-time.

G-20 summit rules out coordinated stimulus

By Nick Beams, 29 February 2016

Despite calls for fiscal stimulus by the International Monetary Fund, the only area in which the major economic powers are increasing their spending is on the military.

Perplexity and divisions mark G-20 meeting

By Nick Beams, 26 February 2016

The G-20 meeting in Shanghai is riven by the widening divisions between the major capitalist powers as the crisis of the global economy intensifies.

US social crisis overshadows 2016 presidential election

By Patrick Martin, 26 February 2016

The American media gives round-the-clock coverage to the minutiae of capitalist politics, but very little attention is paid to the catastrophe facing the working class.

Slowdown in Pennsylvania natural gas industry adds to state budget crisis

By Douglas Lyons, 26 February 2016

The Pennsylvania natural gas industry, located in the Marcellus Shale region, has curtailed production and laid off hundreds of workers in response to declining gas and oil prices globally.

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War

By Eric London, 23 February 2016

According to a recent book by Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon, there is no objective foundation for an end to economic stagnation in the United States.

Wal-Mart reports currency losses and falling sales, profits

By Patrick Martin, 20 February 2016

The giant retailer, the largest private employer in the United States, is under fire on Wall Street for failing to aggressively exploit online sales.

OECD downgrades global growth forecast

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2016

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said global growth has “practically flat-lined” and financial instability risks are on the rise.

Air conditioner maker Carrier to close two Indiana plants, slash 2,100 jobs

By Steve Filips, 19 February 2016

Anger erupted on the shop floor of an Indianapolis factory last week after a spokesman told workers the plant closing was the “best way to stay competitive.”

Stock market panic risks new financial crisis

By Andre Damon, 12 February 2016

The global sell-off expresses growing fears that the trillions pumped into the financial system since 2008 have done nothing to improve its underlying health, and may have sown the seeds for a crash on an even greater scale.

Amid mounting signs of slump and financial crisis

Fed seeks to reassure markets on rate increases

By Barry Grey, 11 February 2016

Yellen broadly hinted that the Fed would hold off on a further increase in its benchmark federal funds interest rate when its policy-making Federal Open Market Committee meets again in mid-March.

A new stage in the global economic breakdown

By Nick Beams, 9 February 2016

The growing financial crisis in China, marked by capital flight and mounting concerns over debt levels, is accompanied by increasing doubts about the stability of the entire global banking system.