World economy

Canadian government’s fiscal update intensifies criminal drive to keep “economy open” as pandemic rages

By Roger Jordan, 3 December 2020

On a day which saw over 6,100 new COVID-19 infections and 98 deaths, the Trudeau government announced no new measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Who is Biden’s top economic adviser Brian Deese?

By Jerry White, 2 December 2020

The executive from the giant investment firm BlackRock played a leading role in the destruction of autoworkers’ jobs and living standards during the 2009 restructuring of GM and Chrysler.

Rent debt “bomb” points to depth of social crisis in Australia

By Mike Head, 1 December 2020

Hundreds of thousands of working-class households could face eviction as temporary COVID-19 pandemic moratoriums end.

New IRS rule will push many US small businesses to the brink

By Jessica Goldstein, 28 November 2020

A new ruling by the Treasury Department will affect millions of small businesses that received a portion of the total $717 billion in relief funds from the US Small Business Administration through the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

What the rich are thankful for

By Andre Damon, 26 November 2020

Amid mass unemployment, hunger and death, America’s financial oligarchy is celebrating a bumper year.

World economy engulfed by “debt tsunami”

By Nick Beams, 21 November 2020

While the pandemic has played a major role, even before it struck the entire financial system and the global economy were becoming increasingly dependent on debt accumulation.

India’s unprecedented economic contraction deepens mass social misery

By Kranti Kumara, 20 November 2020

So meager are the earnings of India’s workers and toilers, three-quarters of the population in rural areas would not be able to afford the cheapest possible nutritious diet even if they spent all of their earnings on food.

Zambia defaults amid growing African debt crisis, intensified by pandemic

By Gabriel Black, 19 November 2020

As hundreds of millions of African workers and peasants face economic disaster and inadequate protection against COVID-19, African nations are expected to pay almost $500 billion by 2023 to avoid default.

Twelve million to lose unemployment benefits in December

By Jacob Crosse, 19 November 2020

Seeking to blackmail workers back into dangerous workplaces, Congress continues to ignore the plight of millions of unemployed people left without aid.

A revealing report on the mid-March financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 19 November 2020

The most significant feature of the crisis was that it struck at the very foundations of the global financial system—the $20 trillion US government bond market—as Treasuries were sold off.

New China-led trade bloc sets stage for further tensions with the US

By Peter Symonds, 17 November 2020

While relatively limited in scope, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a further blow to US ambitions for economic domination of the Asia-Pacific.

Turkish finance minister resigns amid a deepening crisis

By Barış Demir, 14 November 2020

The Turkish government and economy are drifting towards a deepening crisis amid a raging COVID-19 pandemic.

ECB to step up intervention as European banks face rise in non-performing loans

By Nick Beams, 13 November 2020

ECB president Christine Lagarde told a major conference that all sectors of the economy had to have confidence that financial conditions would remain “exceptionally favourable” for as long as needed.

UK’s Brexit conflict reignited by US election crisis

By Thomas Scripps, 12 November 2020

Biden is expected to return to America’s traditional approach of pushing its interests within the European Union.

Young people hit hard by UK jobs massacre

By Margot Miller, 11 November 2020

More than one in 10 people aged 16-25 have lost their jobs, and just under six in 10 have seen their earnings fall since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Wall Street and global stocks boosted by news of COVID-19 vaccine

By Nick Beams, 11 November 2020

The surge in the equity markets does not indicate any underlying strength in the economy but is more an expression of the highly speculative character of shifts by Wall Street investors.

Possible COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough makes measures to stop virus spread now more urgent

By Andre Damon, 10 November 2020

The announcement of progress on a COVID-19 vaccine makes all the more necessary urgent measures to stop the spread of the virus until the vaccine is widely available.

US jobless rates falls but long-term unemployment up sharply as millions remain out of work

By Shannon Jones, 7 November 2020

More than seven months since the start of the pandemic only about one half the 22 million jobs lost earlier in the year have been recovered as the upsurge of new COVID-19 cases is likely to hammer service and retail jobs.

Chinese government blocks Jack Ma’s major IPO

By Nick Beams, 5 November 2020

The decision to block the listing of Ma’s fintech company Ant, which would have been the biggest initial public offering in history, was clearly taken at the highest levels in Beijing

Australian billionaires celebrate skyrocketing wealth while pandemic forces workers into poverty

By Max Boddy, 5 November 2020

The combined fortunes of Australia’s richest 200 individual and families increased by a staggering $82 billion during the past year.

The fraud of IMF-World Bank “debt relief” for poor countries

By Nick Beams, 4 November 2020

Even where money is provided by the IMF, in many cases it is used not to finance health and other necessary measures, but to pay off private-sector lenders.

European Central Bank set to expand bond-buying program

By Nick Beams, 31 October 2020

ECB president Christine Lagarde has said the euro zone recovery is “losing momentum” amid a resurge of COVID-19 infections.

Large bonuses awarded to executives of bailed-out US companies

By Kevin Martinez, 31 October 2020

Major companies such as Hertz and JCPenney paid their executives millions in bonuses before filing for bankruptcy and cutting thousands of jobs during the pandemic.

Mass layoffs in the US as states face unprecedented budget crisis

By Shannon Jones, 31 October 2020

Walt Disney, Raytheon and Boeing were among the major corporations announcing huge job cuts this week as the total projected budget shortfall facing state governments has reached $434 billion.

As US smashes records for new coronavirus infections, Ford and Fiat Chrysler report blowout profits

By Shannon Jones, 30 October 2020

North American automakers built 4.1 million vehicles in the third quarter, the same number as last year.

Significant fall on Wall Street amid rising COVID-19 infections

By Nick Beams, 29 October 2020

The market sell-off has not been confined to Wall Street as Europe’s Stoxx 600 index closed down 3 percent, losing 6 per cent since the end of last week, and now at its lowest level since May.

WSWS coverage of political economy is scientific and therefore partisan

By Nick Beams, 29 October 2020

The WSWS approaches the myriad questions that arise from an analysis of what is called the “economy” on the basis of the historical materialist method elaborated by Karl Marx.

Modern Monetary Theory and the crisis of capitalism: Part two

The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton

By Nick Beams, 26 October 2020

Modern Monetary Theory is the latest in a long line of attempts by “left” theorists to maintain that capitalism can be made to work for society if only outmoded thinking about the monetary system is abandoned.

Modern Monetary Theory and the crisis of capitalism: Part one

The Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton

By Nick Beams, 24 October 2020

Modern Monetary Theory is the latest in a long line of attempts by “left” theorists to maintain that capitalism can be made to work for society if only outmoded thinking about the monetary system is abandoned.

Catastrophic job losses continue in the US as nearly 800,000 new unemployment claims reported

By Jacob Crosse, 23 October 2020

Over 65 million claims have been filed since mid-March as state and federal assistance expires for millions.

Goldman Sachs fined $2.9 billion over role in 1MDB corruption case

By Nick Beams, 23 October 2020

The case involved the embezzlement of billions of dollars from the 1MDB fund, including by two Goldman bankers.

Europe on course for double-dip recession

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2020

The IMF’s forecast for a global recovery in 2021 is looking increasingly shaky in the face of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Johnson calls off Brexit negotiations following EU summit deadlock

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2020

Brexit is a nodal point of interlocking domestic crises confronted by the UK, the EU states, and the United States, and of rising geopolitical tensions between them all.

Nearly 900,000 new jobless claims in US as benefit cutoffs lead to spike in poverty

By Shannon Jones, 16 October 2020

New unemployment claims reached 898,000 last week as researchers report that the cutoff of federal supplemental unemployment benefits has fueled a surge in poverty.

IMF reports on global economy: Political conclusions

By Nick Beams, 16 October 2020

The IMF has forecast that the cumulative loss of global output compared to the pre-pandemic path will to grow from $11 trillion in 2020–21 to $28 trillion in the period 2020–2025.

Hefty profits for top US banks as millions face social disaster

By Shannon Jones, 14 October 2020

As long-term unemployment rises, major Wall Street Banks JP Morgan and Citigroup have reported booming third quarter profits.

Michigan Supreme Court overturns governor’s executive orders on COVID-19 pandemic

Benefits for hundreds of thousands of jobless workers in jeopardy

By James Brookfield, 14 October 2020

The rulings coincide with the demands of the ruling elite that workers return to work under dangerous conditions so that profitability can be restored.

IMF report points to ongoing plunge in world economy

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2020

The IMF said the “scarring” effects of the pandemic would compound forces that dragged down productivity growth across many economies in the years leading up to it.

Richest 50 Americans now have as much wealth as bottom 165 million

By Gabriel Black, 10 October 2020

Data from the Federal Reserve demonstrates that the pandemic has accelerated trends toward social inequality in the United States.

Australian budget based on shaky foundations

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2020

One of the key assumptions of the Australian budget is that an effective COVID-19 vaccine will be developed and available to the population by the end of 2021.

Fed officials warn of “recessionary dynamic” setting in

By Nick Beams, 9 October 2020

The overriding concern of the Fed is that unless more stimulus is provided the measures it has taken to bailout Wall Street, amounting to trillions of dollars, will not be sufficient.

IMF issues debt warning

By Nick Beams, 5 October 2020

More than half of low-income countries and several emerging market economies face the high risk of a crisis amid “alarming” increases in debt levels.

Drop in September job growth shows slowdown in US recovery

By Kevin Reed, 3 October 2020

The September employment report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the economic recovery—largely based on the CARES Act infusion of government money into Wall Street and corporate America—is stalling, as millions of workers remain unemployed and a new round of corporate layoffs is being carried out.

Australian budget to slash taxes for the rich while hitting workers

By Mike Head, 3 October 2020

While mounting a further assault on working-class conditions, this is a crisis budget like no other in living memory.

The pandemic Depression: Bailed-out US airlines slash tens of thousands of jobs

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 October 2020

Millions of workers are being forced to choose between putting themselves at risk of catching the deadly virus and putting food on the table for their families.

Cleveland-Cliffs announces takeover of ArcelorMittal’s US operations

By Jessica Goldstein, 2 October 2020

The announced deal will position Cleveland-Cliffs as the top producer of flat-rolled steel and iron ore pellet in North America and intensify the restructuring of the global steel industry.

Bailed-out US airlines escalate attack on jobs

By Jacob Crosse, 1 October 2020

After receiving billions in grants, no-interest loans and Fed bond purchases through the bipartisan CARES Act, major US airlines and aerospace companies are moving forward with tens of thousands of layoffs.

JPMorgan pays $920 million settlement over illegal trades

By Nick Beams, 1 October 2020

The bank’s traders illegally manipulated metal and Treasury futures market in thousands of trades in a practice known as spoofing.

US hits leading Chinese chip maker

By Nick Beams, 28 September 2020

The latest decision instigated by the Pentagon is aimed at crippling China’s ability to make high-tech advances.

White House nears antitrust lawsuit against Google while advancing new censorship rules for social media

By Kevin Reed, 26 September 2020

Any antitrust action against Google by the US government, whether focused on the search or advertising aspects of the tech firm’s business, has nothing to do with stopping anti-competitive practices or protecting the rights of consumers.

Australian government boosts bank profits as social misery deepens

By Mike Head, 26 September 2020

The lending law changes would see a return to the predatory policies that saw the impoverishment of thousands of households, small businesses and family farmers.

Former Australian PM Paul Keating lashes central bank

By Nick Beams, 26 September 2020

Keating’s overriding concern is the explosive social and political consequences of rising unemployment resulting from the deepening crisis of the capitalist economy.

Social distress mounts in the US as new weekly jobless claims rise to 870,000

By Shannon Jones, 25 September 2020

The number of active unemployment claims, 24.1 million in total, far surpasses anything seen during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Study finds 90 percent of Americans would make 67 percent more without last four decades of increasing income inequality

By Gabriel Black, 25 September 2020

The study from the RAND Corporation provides new data on the incredible shift of income from the bottom 90 percent of the population to the top 10 percent.

Fed officials push for new corporate stimulus package

By Nick Beams, 25 September 2020

Fed chair Jerome Powell said that while there had been some recovery, employment and overall activity remained well below pre-pandemic levels, and the future was “highly uncertain.”

Huge tax cuts for the wealthy trigger nervousness in Australian ruling elite

By Mike Head, 24 September 2020

The October 6 budget will give a dual-income household on $400,000 an annual tax cut of $23,280, while millions of people will have their JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments slashed.

Global banking system a network of criminality

By Nick Beams, 23 September 2020

The notification of suspicious activity that banks are required to file with the US government is not a means of preventing crime, but of facilitating it.

Report documents criminality and corruption at heart of global banking system

By Barry Grey, 22 September 2020

The report documents the role that major banks knowingly play in laundering trillions of dollars in dirty money from terrorist organizations, drug cartels and assorted international financial criminals.

Wall Street demands still more Fed money

By Nick Beams, 19 September 2020

The US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates at virtually zero, for as far as the eye can see, has been deemed insufficient.

Australia: Ovato printing company demands more cuts to jobs and conditions

By Noel Holt, 19 September 2020

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has “bent over backwards” to assist Ovato restructure its operations.

Historic US job losses continue with another 860,000 unemployment claims

By Jacob Crosse, 18 September 2020

Over 61 million unemployment claims have been filed in the last 6 months, with the pandemic plunging the country into a protracted economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression.

US Democrats warn UK Tories no trade deal if Good Friday Agreement threatened by hard Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 18 September 2020

Whatever the parliamentary arithmetic, Johnson is carrying out measures that can only deepen geopolitical fault lines.

Fed toes the line on Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2020

The most commonly used phrase by Fed chair Jerome Powell at his press conference was “very strong forward guidance” in a message to Wall Street that the central bank was giving the commitments it has demanded.

Trump’s China tariffs ruled illegal by World Trade Organisation

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2020

The WTO decision will not see any relaxation of the US trade war against China but rather its intensification.

As Congress rejects renewal of unemployment benefits

US jobless claims top 884,000 for second week in a row

By Jacob Crosse, 12 September 2020

With no congressional relief in sight, millions of workers are seeing meager unemployment benefits expire while layoffs continue to mount.

Brexit crisis intensifies after Johnson government tears up agreement with Brussels

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2020

Brexit epitomises the malignant growth of inter-imperialist antagonisms that are plunging the world into a brutal trade war and exacerbating the threat of military conflict.

Trade unions confer with big business Liberals on how to revive Canadian capitalism

By Roger Jordan, 12 September 2020

The government’s real agenda is for a rapid return to work, higher corporate profitability and “competitiveness,” and to advance Canadian imperialism’s predatory interests internationally.

As pandemic death toll approaches 200,000, American oligarchs celebrate their wealth

By Niles Niemuth, 12 September 2020

According to Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, the super-rich now possess $3.2 trillion, enough to pay for an entire year of public education, health care, nutrition and disaster relief for millions of people.

Collapse in oil prices threatens social and political unrest in Middle East and North Africa

By Jean Shaoul, 10 September 2020

The first and hardest hit have been the Gulf’s 30 million migrant workers from South Asia, the Philippines and the MENA region, who outnumber citizens in four of the six Gulf states.

Massive speculation fuelled by the Fed has driven Wall Street surge

By Nick Beams, 7 September 2020

The extent of the escalation is indicated by Apple, which last month saw its market capitalisation hit more than $2 trillion, having gained $1 trillion in just 21 weeks.

Profits soar as global crash intensifies social crisis in Australia

By Mike Head, 5 September 2020

The most severe recession since the 1930s Depression has already thrown one million out of work, with much worse to come.

Unions enforce takeover of Virgin Australia by private equity firm

By Martin Scott, 5 September 2020

The deal offers workers no guarantees but promises to further enshrine the unions’ role as enforcers of management dictates.

Fear and uncertainty dominate Jackson Hole central bankers’ meeting

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2020

The key initiative announced at the gathering was the decision by the US Fed’s policy-making body to maintain interest rates at ultra-low levels for an indefinite period.

Volkswagen to slash 35 percent of Brazilian workforce as jobs bloodbath hits auto industry

By Miguel Andrade, 29 August 2020

Twenty-eight thousand jobs have been wiped out since 2013, when the unions began pushing for systematic contract suspensions and bailouts for automakers in Brazil.

Fed resets monetary policy framework to meet Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 28 August 2020

The effect of the changes is to assure the financial oligarchy that the ultra-low interest rate regime, so essential to its wealth accumulation, will continue indefinitely.

New US jobless claims once again exceed one million

By Jerry White, 28 August 2020

Despite President Trump’s claims about a “super-V” shaped recovery, more than 27 million workers are collecting unemployment benefits and millions face the prospect of eviction and utility shutoffs.

Despite COVID-19, French billionaires have tripled their wealth since 2010

By Kumaran Ira, 25 August 2020

The accumulation of obscene levels of wealth by a small financial aristocracy is the product of decades of austerity imposed by governments of various political colors.

Signs of emerging crisis in economy and financial system

By Nick Beams, 25 August 2020

US bankruptcies are running at levels higher than those following the 2008 financial crash.

The CumEx fraud in Germany: Organised crime with government support

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 24 August 2020

The tax authorities, government and judiciary closed their eyes as banks and shareholders helped themselves to €31.8 billion in public funds between 2001 and 2016.

Spanish unions agree to shut down Barcelona Nissan plants

By Alice Summers, 22 August 2020

The deal adds a further year to the ticking time-bomb of mass firings, postponing the approximately 25,000 job losses from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021.

Weekly jobless claims again top one million as mass evictions loom

By Shannon Jones, 21 August 2020

The number of new unemployment claims rose unexpectedly last week as workers facing mounting economic pressures due to the ending of federal supplemental jobless benefits and the end of eviction bans.

Apple: A case study in financial parasitism

By Nick Beams, 18 August 2020

The massive Fed intervention into financial markets since March has taken to ever greater levels the parasitism that forms the modus operandi of the US economy.

Canadian provinces and cities confront huge deficits as economic crisis deepens

By Omar Ali, 17 August 2020

Huge debts, which have been accumulated chiefly through measures to bail out the banks and financial oligarchy, are being seized upon to demand intensified austerity for the working class.

Hundreds of thousands of A-Level results downgraded by UK government

By Thomas Scripps, 14 August 2020

The A-levels scandal has exposed the dirty secret of the British education system: that it is social class, not merit, that is really being graded.

How the American oligarchy profited on death

By Andre Damon, 14 August 2020

The United States set two milestones on Wednesday: 1,503 people died from COVID-19 and the S&P 500 stock index reached a new high.

Wall Street continues to feed on death and economic devastation

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2020

Since the crisis of mid-March when the market plunged and the financial system froze, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index has risen by 50 percent on the back of government corporate bailouts and the pumping out of trillions of dollars by the Fed.

UK in record recession as social catastrophe looms

By Thomas Scripps, 13 August 2020

The working class must reject all demands for sacrifice to save the economy.

Canada and the United States resume aluminum tariff war

By Carl Bronski, 13 August 2020

An unholy alliance of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the federal Liberal government, and the United Steelworkers and Unifor trade unions is whipping up Canadian nationalism to justify retaliatory tariffs in answer to Trump’s “America First” protectionism.

Indonesian economy contracts for first time in over two decades

By Owen Howell, 11 August 2020

As the economic crisis in Indonesia escalates, threatening social upheavals, the government’s efforts to reopen the country are growing more desperate.

As July report shows no let-up in mass joblessness

White House, Congress combine to cut off supplemental unemployment benefits

By Jacob Crosse, 8 August 2020

Driven by social interests irreconcilably opposed to those of the working class, congressional leaders from both parties adjourned Friday without restoring jobless pay.

President Trump signs executive orders banning Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat

By Kevin Reed, 8 August 2020

On Thursday, the US president signed two executive orders that will ban the operation of TikTok and WeChat in the US unless they are acquired by US-based companies within 45 days.

US moves to delist Chinese companies from stock exchanges

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2020

The move has been couched in terms of protecting “investor safety,” but it is another component of the economic warfare being carried out by Washington.

Lufthansa, backed by unions, expands job cuts

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 August 2020

In stepping up its attacks on airline workers, Lufthansa collaborates closely with its three unions—UFO, Cockpit and Verdi.

Gold price surges to record high

By Nick Beams, 6 August 2020

A major gold trading fund now holds gold equal to a quarter of that held at Fort Knox in the US and has more than the gold reserves of the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Reserve Bank of India.

US imposes new sanctions on China over alleged Uyghur abuses

By Peter Symonds, 5 August 2020

US propaganda now includes allegations of Uyghur “genocide,” based on sensational accounts of forced birth control and the sterilization of Uyghur women in Xinjiang province.

Mass unemployment to worsen in Australia following Victorian lockdown

By Mike Head, 4 August 2020

Workers, especially those in casual and insecure employment, will bear the burden of the sweeping “state of disaster” COVID-19 restrictions announced by Victoria’s Labor government.

European economy collapses as EU bails out the super-rich

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 3 August 2020

Eurostat economic figures for the second quarter of 2020 show that Europe saw its deepest and most sudden economic collapse in history.

US credit outlook rated “negative” as concerns mount over dollar’s global role

By Nick Beams, 3 August 2020

The Fitch credit rating agency said high fiscal deficits, already present before the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, have started to “erode the traditional credit strength of the US.”

As stock indexes continue their climb

US unemployment supplement expires, setting the stage for mass hunger and homelessness

By Barry Grey, 1 August 2020

The congressional stalemate over an extension of the unemployment pay supplement, which is certain to result in the total elimination or a major cut in the benefit, is a declaration of war against the entire working population.

Millions face economic and social disaster as Wall Street celebrates

By Jerry White, 31 July 2020

Even as the US economy suffers its sharpest contraction in history and the death toll from the pandemic surpasses 155,000, the private fortunes of America’s billionaires continue to rise.