US Economy

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.

Job losses mount in US steel and aluminum industries

Arcelormittal announces $8 billion loss

By Samuel Davidson, 8 February 2016

Manufacturers have posted record losses amid a massive fall in prices and continuing slump in domestic and world demand.

Recession risk on the rise

By Nick Beams, 6 February 2016

Falling yields in US and global bond markets point to a rising risk of recession as the IMF warns that commodity-exporting countries are coming under “severe stress.”

Global manufacturing continues to fall

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2016

The Chinese steel industry recorded a loss of more than $9 billion for 2015, in the clearest expression of China’s economic slowdown.

Wall Street celebrates mounting signs of US slump

By Andre Damon, 30 January 2016

The financial markets responded to a series of reports pointing to a sharp economic downturn in the US by staging a euphoric rally.

Wall Street falls on global growth fears

By Nick Beams, 28 January 2016

A downturn in the share prices of two major companies, Apple and Boeing, was responsible for more than half of yesterday’s fall in the Dow.

Global slowdown to deepen attacks on jobs

By Nick Beams, 25 January 2016

Stock markets recovered some of their losses at the end of the last week, but the underlying trend in the world economy is slower growth and outright recession.

Misery compounds as mass layoffs continue in West Virginia

By Naomi Spencer, 23 January 2016

Each week brings announcements of hundreds of layoffs in coal, rail or other industries across the state.

What is driving the stock market panic?

By Barry Grey, 18 January 2016

After more than seven years of bailouts and trillions in virtually free cash for the banks and financial markets, the real economy has not only not recovered from the Wall Street crash of 2008, it is rapidly deteriorating.

Global stocks plunge amid fears of a new financial crisis

By Barry Grey, 16 January 2016

Friday’s selloff, with the EURO STOXX/50 index down 2.37 percent and all of the major US indexes lower by well over 2 percent, caps off the worst-ever yearly opening for Wall Street.

Wal-Mart to close 269 stores worldwide

By Nick Barrickman, 16 January 2016

The big box retailer cited as causes for the closures competition with online retailers and the impact of marginal employee wage increases.

Wave of selling hits US markets

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2016

The sharp downturn in US markets has come amid a series of statements by banking officials that the conditions for a new financial crisis are rapidly developing.

The US in 2016: No money for social programs, cash to burn for the military

By Andre Damon, 12 January 2016

The US will spend hundreds of billions of dollars this year on warships, nuclear warheads and supersonic fighters, even as there is “no money” for vital social programs like food stamps.

Chinese markets continue to fall, amid mounting concerns over growth

By Nick Beams, 12 January 2016

The Shenzhen Composite Index has fallen by more than 20 percent so far this year, wiping off almost $1 trillion from share values.

Global markets continue to fall

By Nick Beams, 9 January 2016

The impact of events in China points to the worsening situation facing major Western corporations.

US jobs report: Employment numbers obscure deeper social crisis

By Tom Hall, 9 January 2016

While the economy unexpectedly added 292,000 jobs last month according to government figures, the situation facing American workers continues to worsen.

Survey finds a majority of Americans unable to pay for major unexpected expenses

By Nick Barrickman, 9 January 2016

Less than four in 10 Americans are able to pay out of pocket for an emergency expense of $1,000, such as an emergency room visit or the cost of repairing a broken down vehicle.

Stock markets continue to plunge amidst growing signs of economic crisis

By Andre Damon, 8 January 2016

The continued sell-off points to growing fears of a divergence between stock market values, which have been rising for nearly six years, and the slowdown of the world economy.

Global financial turmoil continues on fears of slower growth

By Nick Beams, 7 January 2016

The fall in oil prices to their lowest level in 11 years points to deepening recessionary trends that increase the risk of defaults in high-risk, high-yield bonds.

190 Muslim workers fired from Colorado meatpacking plant

By Tom Hall, 7 January 2016

The workers, mostly Somali refugees, walked off the job last month in protest after management at the Cargill plant refused to allow them prayer time at sundown.

IMF head warns of slow growth and economic “shocks” in 2016

By Barry Grey, 31 December 2015

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde wrote that global economic growth next year would be “disappointing” and the outlook for the medium term had also deteriorated.

A New Year’s sense of foreboding over the global economy

By Nick Beams, 30 December 2015

Economic developments in 2015 were dominated by intensifying recessionary trends throughout the world economy.

Ruthless cuts in West Virginia public employee health care

By Clement Daly, 29 December 2015

A large budget shortfall in the state’s Public Employees Insurance Agency has prompted “draconian” cuts to the health care of more than 200,000 state workers and retirees.

WTO buries Doha Round: Another rupture in the post-war order

By Nick Beams, 22 December 2015

The decision to end the Doha Round signifies the end of the multilateralism that formed a crucial foundation of post-World War II economic expansion.

After Fed rate hike, global economic fault lines deepen

By Nick Beams, 19 December 2015

The growing turbulence in financial markets is a manifestation of deepening recessionary trends in the global economy.

US Congress passes $1.8 trillion spending and tax package

By Kate Randall, 19 December 2015

The deal includes restrictions on the visa-waiver program and a cybersecurity measure that removes restrictions on direct information sharing by companies with government agencies.

Federal Reserve begins “dovish tightening” with first rate hike in nine years

By Barry Grey, 17 December 2015

Fed Chair Janet Yellen stressed that further increases would be incremental and gradual and interest rates would remain abnormally low, triggering a sharp rise in US stock prices.

Junk bond crisis brings “stress” warning

By Nick Beams, 15 December 2015

The price of oil is at its lowest point for seven years with natural gas prices at the lowest level in more than a decade, sparking a crisis in the bond markets.

Junk bond panic signals new stage in crisis of world capitalism

By Barry Grey, 14 December 2015

The mounting crisis in the junk bond market has profound and convulsive implications for the entire credit system, in the US and internationally.

Stocks plunge amid fears of global slump and credit meltdown

By Barry Grey, 12 December 2015

The global slowdown, reflected in collapsing prices for oil and other basic commodities, is now wreaking havoc on the corporate bond market.

Chemical giants DuPont and Dow in “advanced talks” about merger

By Gabriel Black, 11 December 2015

Two of the world’s largest chemical companies could merge in a move to cut costs amidst a deepening economic slump.

A new tipping point in the global economic crisis

By Nick Beams, 10 December 2015

Corporate defaults are on the rise, not only in the energy sector hit by falling prices, but across the board.

Mining giant Anglo American to cut 85,000 jobs

By Gabriel Black, 9 December 2015

The fifth largest mining corporation in the world, Anglo American, will reduce its workforce by 63 percent in response to low commodity prices and a stagnating global economy.

BIS warns of sudden end to “uneasy” financial calm

By Nick Beams, 8 December 2015

Junk bonds are heading for their first losses since the global financial crisis, indicating the present stock market boom may be living on borrowed time.

Number of US investable wealth millionaires grew by 8.6 percent in 2014

By Andre Damon, 5 December 2015

The growth in the number of “high net worth individuals,” who make up slightly more than one percent of the population, comes as the earnings of a typical household continue to decline.

US jobs report shows continued stagnation in manufacturing, rise in low-paid jobs

By Nick Barrickman, 5 December 2015

Today, there are 4.7 million less manufacturing jobs located within the United States than before the 2008 financial collapse.

Fed chair signals rate hike as ECB expands stimulus

By Barry Grey, 4 December 2015

The US economy remains depressed more than seven years after the 2008 Wall Street crash, with economic growth at about half the average rate for the post-World War II period.

Parasitism and the slump in US manufacturing

By Andre Damon, 2 December 2015

The money that corporations are refusing to spend on productive investment is being channeled back to the financial elite in the form of share buybacks, dividend hikes and increased CEO pay.

Entergy to shutter two nuclear plants in US, laying off 1,200

By Steve Filips, 2 December 2015

The upsurge in nuclear plant closures is being driven by lower energy prices due to the glut in the supply of oil and natural gas from the recent boom in fracturing.

US: More than 3,000 laid off in closure of Fresh & Easy grocery stores

By Jake Dean, 1 December 2015

All 97 of the chain’s locations in California, Arizona and Nevada were shut down last month.

Report: UAW auto contracts no threat to Big Three profits

By Shannon Jones, 30 November 2015

The business press is gloating over the fact that the new contracts imposed on autoworkers by the UAW are tailored to the needs of the auto bosses.

US meatpacking giant Tyson announces closure of two plants

By James Brewer, 21 November 2015

The layoffs are a direct product of the corporate drive toward monopoly, the rationalization of production and the slashing of labor costs in pursuit of ever greater profits.

“Positive” US jobs report belied by mass layoffs

By Josh Varlin, 7 November 2015

While the US economy added more jobs in October than in previous months, the great majority of new jobs were in low-wage sectors of the economy.

Fed chair says rate hike in December a “live possibility”

By Barry Grey, 5 November 2015

The Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee demonstrated their subservience to the banks by arguing against any increase in interest rates until 2016 at the earliest.

Global markets cheer dismal economic figures

By Andre Damon, 3 November 2015

Global stock markets are surging as negative economic news makes interest rate cuts by central banks more likely.

Chevron to lay off 7,000 workers

Mass layoffs in US point to deepening slump

By Tom Hall, 31 October 2015

Friday's announcement by Chevron was in response to the continuing slump in oil prices, due in large part to falling demand.

Half of US workers make less than $30,000 per year

By David Brown, 29 October 2015

The decades-long stagnation of wages in the US has left millions of workers unable to start a family or buy a house.

Holding rates near zero, Fed keeps option of a hike in December

By Barry Grey, 29 October 2015

The Fed has come under enormous pressure to abandon its stated intention, declared last year, to begin gradually raising interest rates in 2015 for the first time in nine years.

Ford third-quarter profits double

By Jerry White, 27 October 2015

With the auto companies, the corporate media and the UAW warning workers not to make “unrealistic” demands, Ford and GM have raked in billions in profits in North America.

West Virginia counties, school districts make drastic cuts as coal industry contracts

By Naomi Spencer, 27 October 2015

Local governments and schools across West Virginia are making deep reductions as the coal industry continues to contract and the state imposes a fresh round of cuts.

Collapse of West Virginia coal industry spurs growing inequality

By Naomi Spencer, 26 October 2015

As the coal industry has hemorrhaged jobs, state and local social services have been slashed and inequality has soared.

Pennsylvania budget impasse adversely affects social services, schools

By Douglas Lyons, 20 October 2015

With state funding cut back, some schools and non-profits have had to scale back or fully eliminate programs and lay off workers.

Walmart downgrade reflects depth of social crisis facing US workers

By Barry Grey, 15 October 2015

Walmart’s financial problems are above all a reflection of the devastating impact of years of wage-cutting and austerity on the company’s largely working class clientele.

US Supreme Court dismisses challenge to ruling undermining insider trading prosecutions

By Gabriel Black, 13 October 2015

The Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to a recent ruling making the enforcement of insider trading laws virtually impossible.

Perplexity and gloom dominate IMF-World Bank meeting

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2015

A report issued on the eve of the IMF-World Bank meeting said that emerging market economies had over-borrowed by $3 trillion over the past decade.

The government-union conspiracy to raid US workers’ pensions

By Andre Damon, 10 October 2015

The Obama administration, Wall Street, major corporations and the trade unions have conspired to slash hundreds of billions of dollars from multi-employer pension funds.

Markets “celebrate” poor US jobs data

By Nick Beams, 6 October 2015

Like players in a gambling casino given free chips by the house, financial investors boosted share prices on the prospect that interest rises in the US are off the table for this year.

US jobs data underscore downbeat IMF assessment of world economy

By Nick Beams, 3 October 2015

The recessionary trends and falling commodity prices gripping the global economy are having a growing impact on the United States.

Wealth of America’s super-rich grows to $2.34 trillion

By Nick Barrickman, 3 October 2015

The total net worth for the multi-billionaires on the list set new records, displacing last year’s all-time high of $2.29 trillion.

Global recessionary trends intensify

By Nick Beams, 1 October 2015

The crisis of mining giant Glencore, whose shares plunged by 30 percent this week, is only one expression of the slump gripping the global economy.

Fed chief points to rate rise this year

By Nick Beams, 25 September 2015

The speech by US Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen Thursday sought to counter criticisms of the decision last week to keep interest rates on hold.

China, emerging economies and commodities roil financial markets

By Barry Grey, 24 September 2015

The very economies that were hailed as the engines of global growth following the Wall Street crash of September 2008 are now at the forefront of a deflationary crisis that threatens to plunge the world into a full-scale depression.

Fed decision fails to calm markets

By Nick Beams, 22 September 2015

Divisions have emerged in financial circles over the Fed’s decision not to lift interest rates, highlighting the absence of any coherent policy on the part of those in charge of the financial system.

US poverty rate and income growth stagnated in 2014

By Niles Williamson, 19 September 2015

The US Census Bureau reported this week that staggering levels of poverty remained unchanged between 2013 and 2014 as median household income held steady.

Citing global economy, Fed keeps rates near zero

By Barry Grey, 18 September 2015

Exuberance over the decision to delay a rate hike was tempered by concerns over the state of the global economy and financial system as reflected in the Fed statement.

Hewlett-Packard to cut 33,000 jobs

By a reporter, 17 September 2015

The cuts bring the job losses at HP to 87,000 in the past three years, one quarter of the total company workforce.

How Wall Street took over the auto industry

By Gabriel Black, 16 September 2015

The US auto industry has increasingly become dominated by financial capital, leading to the destruction of jobs, wages, and benefits.

Seven years since the Wall Street crash

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2015

Seven years after the eruption of the crisis, financial parasitism has reached unprecedented heights while the global economy stagnates.

Market turbulence linked to conflicts over ruling class policy

By Nick Beams, 11 September 2015

The market gyrations are an expression of the combination of greed and fear that underlies financial markets, arising from their parasitic dependence upon ultra-cheap money.

US markets fall after release of jobs report

By Gabriel Black, 5 September 2015

US employers added 173,000 jobs last month, while the labor force participation rate remained at 62.6 percent—the lowest rate since October 1977.

Wages for low-income workers collapsed under Obama

By Andre Damon, 4 September 2015

Pay for a typical US worker has fallen by 4 percent since 2009, and the incomes of many lower-paid workers have fallen up to twice as fast.

Central banks step in to prop up global financial bubble

By Andre Damon, 31 August 2015

Once again, the world’s central banks and governments have made clear that they will do whatever it takes to preserve the wealth of the financial elite.

Fed acts to push US stocks higher

By Barry Grey, 27 August 2015

The US central bank is prepared to provide whatever public funds are needed to shield the financial elite from the consequences of a new eruption of the capitalist crisis.

Global Ponzi scheme threatens to implode

By Andre Damon, 24 August 2015

The global stock market selloff reflects the inability of governments and central banks to address the fundamental contradictions of the capitalist system that led to the Wall Street crash of 2008–2009.

Panic sell-off on world financial markets

By Barry Grey, 22 August 2015

The meltdown on equity markets is being driven by signs that the world economy is sliding into a new recession or outright depression.

Global markets plunge amid signs of deepening slump

By Andre Damon, 21 August 2015

US stocks fell by the largest amount since February 2014, as fears of a world economic slowdown mixed with concerns over global exchange rate instability and geopolitical conflict.

World capitalism “toboggans toward catastrophe”

By Barry Grey, 19 August 2015

Seven years after the Wall Street crash, fears are growing within ruling circles internationally that the world capitalist economy is descending into depression.

Mass layoffs worldwide as corporate mergers near new record

By Andre Damon, 15 August 2015

Under conditions of slowing economic growth and record amounts of cash on corporate balance sheets, mergers and acquisitions are being used to intensify the assault on the working class.

Chinese currency devaluation underscores global instability

By Nick Beams, 12 August 2015

Stock markets and commodity prices fell sharply in the wake of the decision to devalue the yuan, reflecting concerns about the perilous state of the Chinese and world economy.

Report shows continuing stagnation in US jobs, wages

By Tom Hall, 8 August 2015

Friday’s jobs report shows that the American labor market failed to make any meaningful improvements last month as conditions for American workers continue to stagnate or decline.

Syracuse, New York ravaged by unemployment, poverty and low wages

By Steve Filips, 8 August 2015

Despite a decline in the official unemployment rate, thousands of people living in New York’s fifth largest city continue to struggle to find jobs and earn a decent living.

Second-largest US coal producer files for bankruptcy

By Andre Damon, 5 August 2015

The filing signals a new assault on jobs in the already devastated US coal industry.

The rot at the heart of the American economy

By Nick Beams, 4 August 2015

The latest US economic data show a contraction in investment amid the lowest wage increases in more than 30 years.

US-led Pacific trade pact talks break down

By Mike Head, 3 August 2015

The latest failure of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations is a debacle for the US drive to counter China.

TPP investor-state dispute settlement clauses allow corporations to sue governments

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 August 2015

The Obama administration’s ongoing push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a trade bloc of 12 countries—seeks to enshrine US economic dominance over the Asia-Pacific in binding agreements.

The Dodd-Frank banking law five years on

By Gabriel Black, 30 July 2015

The law, largely a token measure to begin with, has been watered down further to the point of near irrelevancy.

Obama administration issues wrist-slap fine for Fiat Chrysler’s deadly recall delays

By Shannon Jones, 28 July 2015

The $105 million penalty is a derisory amount, a small fraction of the automaker’s annual revenue and profits.

Mining job cuts: The destructive anarchy of the capitalist market

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2015

Anglo American’s decision to cut one-third of its workforce is symptomatic of the job destruction ripping through the global mining industry as commodity prices plunge.

How to make $7 billion in 45 minutes

By Andre Damon, 25 July 2015

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made more money Thursday than 300,000 US workers earn in an entire year.

Federal Reserve documents stagnant state of US economy

By Barry Grey, 21 July 2015

The explosion of asset values and wealth accumulation at the very top of the economic ladder has occurred alongside an intractable and continuing slump in the real economy.

Wages for California workers continue to decline

By Kevin Martinez, 15 July 2015

California’s high cost of living has accelerated the decline of real wages.

A summer without jobs for America’s youth

By Andre Damon, 9 July 2015

The prevalence of “Depression-era” youth unemployment goes virtually unmentioned by the American corporate media and political establishment.

New York Stock Exchange halts operations for nearly four hours

By Barry Grey, 9 July 2015

The shutdown was by far the longest ever trading halt attributed to computer problems.

Microsoft announces 7,800 layoffs

By David Brown, 9 July 2015

Microsoft's layoffs highlight a broader trend of tech industry job cuts in response to increasingly speculative financial markets.

Summer joblessness for US teens remains near record levels

By Nick Barrickman, 8 July 2015

The share of teenagers who are employed during the summer has plunged by nearly 50 percent since 2000.

Manhattan real estate prices hit record high

By Sandy English, 6 July 2015

The average sale price of an apartment in the New York City borough of Manhattan, the home of Wall Street, is now $1.87 million.

Top bankers’ pay rose 17 percent in 2014

By Andre Damon, 4 July 2015

The vast sums of money pocketed by bank executives are bound up with activities that range from borderline legal to flagrantly illegal.

US labor force participation rate hits lowest level in nearly four decades

By Andre Damon, 3 July 2015

The latest US jobs report, despite being greeted by the political establishment as another sign of a "recovery," points to continued economic stagnation.