US Economy

Another US step toward trade war

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2018

“If we ever have a conflict, we don’t want to be buying steel [from] a country we are fighting,” Trump declared, referring particularly to China.

Puerto Rican Investment Summit discusses how to profit from human tragedy

By Rafael Azul, 19 February 2018

Oblivious to the humanitarian crisis, participants discussed how to profit from the hurricane destruction and protect their speculative assets from US taxes.

Kimberly-Clark to lay off over 600 workers and close two plants in Wisconsin

By Christopher Davion, 13 February 2018

The announcement of the plan to close two plants in northeastern Wisconsin is part of an international restructuring which involves laying off as many as 5,500.

Censorship, witch hunts and dirty money at the New York Times

By Andre Damon, 12 February 2018

The Times has made little effort to hide the fact that its record-breaking profits have been driven in large measure by state censorship and media scandalmongering.

Democrats and Republicans pass budget to prepare US for war

By Eric London, 10 February 2018

The Democratic Party provided the necessary votes to allocate $1.4 trillion for the military.

Wild swings on Wall Street at end of turbulent week

By Nick Beams, 10 February 2018

The business channel CNBC calculated that the Dow gyrated a total of 22,000 points up and down during the week.

Moody’s downgrades Ford’s credit forecast as investors demand deep cuts

By Tom Hall, 10 February 2018

The move by the credit ratings agency reflects fears that Ford’s “Fitness Redesign” initiative could meet with uncontrollable opposition from autoworkers.

Wall Street plunges amid fear and panic

By Nick Beams, 9 February 2018

A major feature of the turmoil has been the speed of events, with stock prices plunging and oscillating dramatically.

US Senate Democrats agree to massive boost in military spending

By Josh Varlin, 8 February 2018

The bipartisan budget plan demonstrates that both big business parties agree on military escalation and further attacks on immigrants' rights.

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.

Fear of working class upsurge triggers plunge in financial markets

By Barry Grey, 3 February 2018

The increasing market volatility takes place amidst signs of mounting working class resistance.

Signs of turbulence in stock markets

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2018

The major concern in financial markets is that a rise in bond yields could see an end to the rise in stock prices and even set off a major downturn.

Corporate giants announce partnership to cut employer health care costs

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2018

The initiative heralds a further monopolization of health care by a handful of billionaire-run corporations and a further subordination of social needs to Wall Street.

Currency conflicts deepen between US and Europe

By Nick Beams, 31 January 2018

Remarks by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the advantages of a lower dollar brought a sharp response from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

BlackRock’s Laurence Fink urges CEOs to serve a “social purpose”

By Katy Kinner, 25 January 2018

Fink, whose firm manages $6 trillion in investments, has penned a worried and hypocritical letter to the world’s CEOs urging them to exercise a “positive influence on society.”

Republicans and Democrats co-sponsor bill to dismantle Dodd-Frank bank regulations

By E.P. Milligan, 22 January 2018

The latest bill represents yet another brazen attempt to cut regulations set in place in the wake of the now decade-old financial meltdown.

US House passes short-term budget bill, but federal shutdown looms

By Patrick Martin, 19 January 2018

There appears to be little prospect of the Senate approving the House bill, which has no provisions dealing with the fate of young immigrants who are losing protection from deportation.

As US government shutdown looms, Democrats push punitive immigration deal

By Barry Grey, 18 January 2018

The latest version of the bipartisan plan proposes even more billions to militarize the US-Mexico border, including funds earmarked for Trump’s border wall with Mexico.

Democrats, Republicans resume talks on right-wing budget deal

By Patrick Martin, 16 January 2018

Only four days remain before congressional authorization to fund the government expires, threatening a partial shutdown of government agencies and a halt to federal paychecks.

Threat of trade war looming larger

By Nick Beams, 16 January 2018

A series of “anti-dumping” measures initiated by the United States could set in motion retaliatory action and lead to widening trade conflicts.

Walmart closes 63 Sam’s Club locations, lays off thousands of employees

By Trévon Austin, 13 January 2018

The closures and mass layoffs expose the media hype surrounding Walmart’s announced raising of wages.

A significant tremor in the bond markets

By Nick Beams, 13 January 2018

While the bond market has calmed since Wednesday’s sell-off, reports in the financial press indicate considerable nervousness over what the dip could signify.

December US jobs report reveals weaker than expected growth

By Trévon Austin, 6 January 2018

The modest improvement in the unemployment rate and number of jobs added over the last year are not reflective of the real situation confronting millions of workers.

Foxconn tax subsidies to build Wisconsin plant reach over $4 billion

By George Gallanis, 6 January 2018

Decades of deindustrialization have created unprecedented levels of social inequality, poverty and unemployment, which corporations like Foxconn can exploit.

The oligarchy versus society

By Barry Grey, 28 December 2017

It is impossible to seriously address a single major social issue without breaking the political and economic stranglehold of the financial oligarchy over society.

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.

Over token Democratic opposition

US Congress passes tax windfall for corporations and the rich

By Barry Grey, 21 December 2017

The Democrats support tax cuts for corporations and did nothing to seriously oppose this naked piece of class legislation.

Bitcoin speculation continues to surge

By Nick Beams, 21 December 2017

The appetites of financial speculators continue to be whetted by reports of huge gains made by hedge funds that specialise in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Disney to purchase 21st Century Fox for $66.1 billion, creating new mega-conglomerate

By Gabriel Black, 20 December 2017

The merger is expected to lead to as many as 10,000 layoffs.

Outgoing Fed chair Yellen brushes off financial warning signs

By Nick Beams, 14 December 2017

While she dismissed the impact of bitcoin on the financial system, Yellen was reminded by one questioner that her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, had said in 2007 that the sub-prime bubble would have no broader effects.

Bitcoin frenzy: The fever chart of a deepening crisis

By Nick Beams, 13 December 2017

The rise and rise of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is the most egregious expression of the rampant speculation that has come to dominate the global economy.

Amid “full employment,” no recovery in US wages

By Jerry White, 11 December 2017

The jobs report provides further evidence that the much vaunted economic “recovery” in the US has overwhelmingly benefited Wall Street at the expense of the working class.

Senate races to pass Trump tax cut for corporate America

By Barry Grey, 1 December 2017

A measure that will further restructure American society to benefit the ruling oligarchy at the expense of the mass of the population is being rushed through Congress without so much as a public hearing.

Amid mounting fears of financial turmoil

Departing Fed chairwoman seeks to reassure markets while warning of debt crisis and social inequality

By Nick Beams, 30 November 2017

Amid surging stock markets and warnings of a new financial bubble, outgoing Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen made her final appearance before Congress.

US Senate committee passes tax windfall for the rich

By Barry Grey, 29 November 2017

Congress, backed by the Trump White House, is hurtling toward the implementation of the most brazen and far-reaching corporate raid on the federal Treasury in US history.

Warnings of new financial bubble as bitcoin price hits $10,000

By Andre Damon, 29 November 2017

The explosive rise in the price of bitcoin, the first “cryptocurrency,” has eclipsed the run-up of any comparable asset in modern history.

Right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers acquire major stake in Time Magazine

By Genevieve Leigh, 28 November 2017

As the Trump administration strips media regulation and antitrust laws, media conglomerates are planning even further consolidation.

Democrats posture as opponents of Wall Street in CFPB dispute

By Patrick Martin, 28 November 2017

The conflict between Trump and the Democrats over control of the Consumer Financial Protection Board is being conducted with utter cynicism on both sides.

Trump, Congress move to finalize tax cuts for big business

By Patrick Martin, 27 November 2017

A meeting of leading Republicans and Democrats Tuesday begins the last-minute deals to provide $1.5 trillion for the wealthy at the expense of working people.

Trump’s Justice Department sues to prevent Time Warner-AT&T merger

By Gabriel Black, 27 November 2017

The deal would result in the largest vertically integrated content and distribution company in the world.

Jeff Bezos’ $100 billion: The case for expropriation

By Eric London, 27 November 2017

The wealth of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, together with the trillions of dollars hoarded by his fellow billionaires, could be used to wipe out poverty, disease, and social misery.

The government attack on US college students

By Patrick Martin, 20 November 2017

The tax bill passed by the House of Representatives Thursday targets college and graduate students for savage economic attack to fund a bonanza for the super-rich.

The US tax bill: A massive handout to the financial elite

By Andre Damon, 18 November 2017

The tax bill passed by the US House of Representatives Thursday marks a new milestone in the transformation of the United States into an oligarchy.

Senate Republicans include repeal of Obamacare mandate in tax cut for the rich

By Barry Grey, 16 November 2017

The attack on access to health care for ordinary Americans is an example of the tax scheme’s fleecing of working people to pay for the tax windfall for the rich.

Trump nominates Jerome Powell as new Federal Reserve chief

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2017

Wall Street welcomed the selection of Powell, who will be the richest man to occupy the post.

US auto profits beat expectations despite softening sales

By Shannon Jones, 31 October 2017

Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors all posted higher-than-expected earnings in the third quarter, boosted by savage cost-cutting facilitated by the collaboration of the unions.

US Senate votes to protect financial giants from consumer lawsuits

By Patrick Martin, 26 October 2017

The measure will benefit companies like Wells Fargo and Equifax, as well as banks and credit card companies more generally.

The American oligarchy prepares a new tax windfall for the rich

By Barry Grey, 25 October 2017

Trump’s tax plan raises to a new level the plundering of society’s resources by the ruling class that has been underway for nearly four decades.

Senate passes resolution setting stage for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich

By Gabriel Black, 21 October 2017

The resolution helps procedurally prepare for the passage of a dramatic cut in taxes for business and for the financial elite.

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to Congress: Pass tax cuts or markets will tank

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2017

Mnuchin’s Politico interview is an unwitting admission that the world’s largest economy is dominated by financial parasitism.

Military industry stocks soar amid growing threat of war

By Gabriel Black, 19 October 2017

While basic social services are being slashed, the ruling elite is pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into more-sophisticated ways to kill people.

Thirty years since Wall Street’s “Black Monday”

By Nick Beams, 19 October 2017

Thirty years ago today, on October 19, 1987, the New York Stock Exchange experienced what remains its largest one-day fall in history.

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.

Bailed out in 2008 crash, AIG now out of government oversight

By Nick Beams, 2 October 2017

Ending the “too big to fail” designation for the giant insurance group has been described as the most significant step in the Trump administration’s push for financial deregulation.

A tax plan by and for the US oligarchy

By Fred Mazelis, 29 September 2017

The proposed elimination of the estate tax is an assertion of aristocratic privilege.

A step toward trade war:

Trump’s Commerce Department imposes huge tariff on Canada’s Bombardier

By Roger Jordan, 28 September 2017

The Trump administration is using the Bombardier-Boeing dispute to send a message to the world that it intends to press forward with its protectionist “America First” program.

The Fed’s quantitative easing: A class assessment

By Nick Beams, 25 September 2017

Bourgeois economists would like to pass off speculation as some kind of extraneous, unhealthy activity, but it is rooted in fundamental processes within the capitalist economy itself.

Markets hail “gradual” moves by Federal Reserve

By Nick Beams, 21 September 2017

As stock prices continue to soar, voices within the US financial elite are warning of the dangers of another financial meltdown.

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.

Growing warnings of a stock market bubble

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2017

US markets are in their second-longest bull run in history, indicating a growing divergence between financial markets and the underlying real economy.

US Fed confronts dilemmas over monetary policy

By Nick Beams, 7 September 2017

Despite massive injections of money into global financial markets by the Fed and other central banks, there is no sign of the US and the global economy returning to pre-2008 crisis conditions.

US Fed confronts dilemmas over monetary policy

By Nick Beams, 7 September 2017

Despite massive injections of money into global financial markets by the Fed and other central banks, there is no sign of the US and the global economy returning to pre-2008 crisis conditions.

Trump begins campaign for huge tax cut for business and the wealthy

By Patrick Martin, 1 September 2017

There is widespread support from Democrats on proposals to reduce the corporate tax rate, the centerpiece of the Trump administration tax plan, and repatriate offshore earnings.

After the financial crisis: How the ultra-wealthy have prospered

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2017

The word “recovery” is frequently used to describe the state of the world economy, but what it really reveals is the position of the ultra-wealthy.

Central bankers at Jackson Hole conference: What was not said and why

By Nick Beams, 28 August 2017

In their speeches, neither Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen nor European Central Bank head Mario Draghi even mentioned the massive asset purchases carried out over the past eight years.

Government report reveals scope of housing crisis in California

By Guillaume Garnier, 26 August 2017

Rents and housing prices in the most populous state in the US continue to rise, driving hundreds of thousands of workers and youth into economic crisis.

Sales declines at US department stores belie claims of economic recovery

By Barry Grey, 12 August 2017

Large sections of the working population lack the wherewithal to buy more than the bare necessities, which is why the retail slump is primarily hitting stores that cater to the working class.

Dow at 22,000: A new high for parasitism

By Nick Beams, 4 August 2017

The Dow’s record-breaking close coincided with Depression-like scenes of thousands of workers in the US lining up for job applications with Amazon, a firm which epitomizes poverty wages and super-exploitation.

Amazon CEO Bezos makes $1.4 billion Thursday morning, briefly becoming world’s richest person

By Evan Blake, 28 July 2017

Bezos’s ascension to the heights of society rests on the exploitation of Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of workers worldwide.

IMF global outlook downgrades US growth prospects

By Nick Beams, 25 July 2017

A decade after the global financial crisis, growth rates remain well below the levels of 2008, with no sign of a return to the previous levels in the future.

Trump administration to pursue protectionist agenda in NAFTA renegotiation

By Roger Jordan, 21 July 2017

Washington intends to use the talks to extract concessions from corporate America’s Canadian and Mexican rivals and to forge a US-led trade bloc to confront its global rivals.

Study reveals gutting of health care and pensions for US workers

By Isaac Finn, 21 July 2017

Global risk management firm Willis Towers Watson revealed the impact of the corporate-government assault on workers’ retirement and medical benefits.

US House proposes over $5 trillion in cuts

By Daniel de Vries, 20 July 2017

The plan introduced Tuesday would dismantle Medicare and Medicaid while cutting corporate taxes.

Study finds financial parasitism contributes to the high cost of drugs

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2017

According to the authors of a recent study, the reason for the high cost of drugs in the US is the prevalence of a “social disease” called “maximising shareholder value.”

Legislators pass devastating austerity budget in Illinois

By Alexander Fangmann, 10 July 2017

The new budget will become law, enshrining massive across-the-board cuts of 5 percent to most state government agencies, and 10 percent to higher education.

Fed stress test results unleash “party time” for US banks

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2017

As a result of the US Federal Reserve decision, the market value of American banks is estimated to have risen by $40 billion.

Missouri rolls back minimum wage increase in St. Louis

By Matthew MacEgan, 8 July 2017

Missouri’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a law that reverses the city of St. Louis’s 2015 hourly minimum wage increase, lowering it from $10 back to the state’s standard of $7.70.

Sears announces the closing of 43 more stores in the US and Canada

By Anthony del Olmo, 8 July 2017

Sears Holdings’ announcement last week of the closing of 43 locations, including Sears and Kmart stores, is the latest in a wave of retail closures and layoffs.

Concerns grow over Fed interest rate policy

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2017

The economic model the Fed has broken down under conditions in which parasitism has become the dominant form of profit accumulation.

International Monetary Fund revises down US growth predictions

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2017

The IMF has not only revised down its projections of US growth but said the country’s “economic model” was failing to deliver “broadly shared” income growth.

US Treasury releases plan to roll back Dodd-Frank bank regulations

By Gabriel Black, 19 June 2017

Stripping away parts of Dodd-Frank will remove its minimal restrictions on Wall Street’s speculative activities.

Amazon’s monopoly swells with $13.7 billion offer to buy Whole Foods

By Evan Blake, 17 June 2017

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made $1.88 billion in a single day as the corporation’s octopus-like control expanded into a new segment of the world economy.

Despite low inflation, US Fed lifts interest rates

By Nick Beams, 15 June 2017

The overriding message was that low economic growth, falling consumption spending and the spread of part-time and casual work represent the new normal.

US study shows one-third of adults suffer severe income fluctuations

By Josh Varlin, 7 June 2017

A recent Federal Reserve study found that almost a third of adults have a variable income from month to month, which makes financial planning nearly impossible.

Uncertainty grows over US Fed’s interest rate moves

By Nick Beams, 6 June 2017

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

Study: The ultra-rich hide 25 percent of their wealth in tax havens

By Gabriel Black, 5 June 2017

A new report by economist Gabriel Zucman argues that global inequality is significantly worse than shown in official estimates because of rampant tax evasion by the financial elite.

GM announces more layoffs as US auto sales decline

By Shannon Jones, 3 June 2017

General Motors announced 300 job cuts at its Warren, Michigan transmission plant amid continuing signs of a slowdown in US auto sales after a seven-year boom.

Wall Street engineers ouster of top Ford executives

By Jerry White, 23 May 2017

The management reshuffling at the number two US automaker, described in industry circles as a “coup,” underscores the complete domination of the banks and financial speculators.

Trump triggers renegotiation of NAFTA

By Roger Jordan, 22 May 2017

The Trump administration is aggressively pursuing its “America first” agenda, renegotiating the agreement as economic protectionism grows around the world.

Productivity figures and job cuts expose Trump’s growth fraud

By Nick Beams, 19 May 2017

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

Fund managers earned billions in 2016 even as hedge funds underperformed

By Shelley Connor, 17 May 2017

The wealthiest 25 managers earned $11 billion last year while hedge funds yielded meager returns for investors.

US Federal student loan interest rates set to rise in July

By Anthony del Olmo, 15 May 2017

The rise in rates is an outcome of the stock market boom following Trump’s election, and comes at a time when the plight of students continues to worsen.

Apple valuation surges to over $800 billion

By Nick Beams, 12 May 2017

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

US auto profits soar as sales slowdown threatens more layoffs

By Shannon Jones, 11 May 2017

Higher auto profits are being accompanied by job cuts as management intensifies its assault on autoworkers.

US corporate profits up 13.9 percent on cost-cutting and low wages

By Barry Grey, 9 May 2017

At the heart of the corporate profit bonanza is an ongoing drive to cut costs by holding down wages, cutting jobs and slashing spending on new plants and equipment.

Higher education and upward mobility increasingly inaccessible to poor in the US

By Kathleen Martin, 5 May 2017

Higher education, seen as a key to social mobility in the US, is becoming increasingly unattainable to a growing section of the American working class.

Apple’s $257 billion cash hoard and parasitic accumulation

By Nick Beams, 5 May 2017

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

May Day 2017

The rise of economic nationalism and protectionism

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2017

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

Democrats agree to increase military and border spending while cutting food stamps

By Barry Grey, 2 May 2017

Republicans hailed the agreement as a down payment on Trump’s demands for a $54 billion increase in the Pentagon budget to be paid for with cuts in social programs.

Poverty among Michigan children greater in 2015 than during “Great Recession”

By Debra Watson, 1 May 2017

Michigan had an official poverty rate of 22.2 percent in 2015, more than at the end of the first full year of the 2008 recession.