US Economy

Trump puts Europe in his sights for trade war

By Nick Beams, 23 January 2020

The stepped-up offensive was foreshadowed in Trump’s keynote address to the Davos annual meeting in which he said the US had pioneered “a new model for trade in the 21st century.”

Canadian judge begins hearing Washington’s geopolitically explosive demand for extradition of top Huawei executive

By Roger Jordan, 23 January 2020

Canadian authorities seized Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the behest of Washington, which is seeking her extradition on the basis of bogus fraud charges.

Growing fears of global debt crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2020

As the global oligarchy assembles at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, there are mounting warning signs that global debt, fueled by cheap money from central banks, is a ticking time bomb.

Northam’s Virginia budget: Democrat gives a pittance to workers, lion’s share to wealthy

By Nick Barrickman and Elias Mahonen, 21 January 2020

The budget would give paltry increases in healthcare subsidies and teacher wages while doing nothing to undercut the state government’s support for big business.

Tesla under investigation by US government for defect that caused over 100 crashes

By Jessica Goldstein, 20 January 2020

The serious allegations of safety problems with Tesla’s vehicles and the suffering of the workers who build them are bound up with the subordination of the means of production to the capitalist system.

Amid poverty wages and tax cuts for the rich

JPMorgan Chase records the biggest profit of any bank in US history

By Gabriel Black, 18 January 2020

The profit bonanza on Wall Street is the outcome of a bipartisan drive to enrich the financial elite at the expense of the working class.

US and UK clash over Huawei involvement in 5G rollout

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2020

The rollout of 5G broadband wireless networks globally is becoming an arena for the eruption of geopolitical tensions.

US-China trade deal leaves basic conflict festering

By Mike Head, 16 January 2020

The “phase one” pact does not address the core demands issued by Washington for the wholesale restructuring of the Chinese economy.

Central banks losing firepower to counter recession

By Nick Beams, 9 January 2020

The key message from the annual meeting of the American Economic Association last weekend was that central banks do not have the tools to cope with a world of low inflation and low interest rates.

Transatlantic digital tax trade war looms

By Nick Beams, 7 January 2020

France has warned of retaliation if US imposes tariffs on exports.

Trump sets date for signing of “phase one” trade deal with China

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2020

The signing of the “phase one” deal would not bring an end to the US trade war against China launched in May 2018 but is merely a limited truce.

One day after impeachment: Democrats back Trump trade, budget bills

By Patrick Martin, 20 December 2019

One day after the US House of Representatives adopted two articles of impeachment against President Trump, the House passed Trump’s top policy priority for 2019, the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, by a massive bipartisan margin.

Report finds US corporations paid “zero to negative” income tax rate in 2018

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 December 2019

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that 91 highly profitable Fortune 500 corporations paid zero or negative income taxes in 2018.

US-China deal a new phase in global trade war

By Nick Beams, 16 December 2019

In the longer term, the US wrecking operation against the World Trade Organisation is probably the most significant action in the global trade war.

US announces ”in principle” agreement on “phase one” US-China trade deal

By Nick Beams, 13 December 2019

Any reduction in US tariffs, will be accompanied by a so-called “snapback” provision under which they would be immediately re-imposed if it is determined that China is not abiding by its side of the deal

US trucking firm Celadon goes bankrupt leaving thousands of drivers stranded

By Steve Filips, 13 December 2019

The major logistics company closed without warning, leaving thousands of drivers stranded across the country and without jobs just before the holidays.

Amid turmoil in short-term money markets

Fed to keep interest rates lower for longer

By Nick Beams, 12 December 2019

The unanimous decision by the interest-rate setting Federal Open Market Committee came at the end of a year in which the financial markets dictated the central bank must provide cheap money.

Trump escalates global trade war

By Nick Beams, 4 December 2019

Responding to a question in London on whether there was a deadline for a trade deal with China, Trump said: “I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.”

Ten trillion dollars of US corporate debt set off alarm bells

By Nick Beams, 2 December 2019

One of the most significant features of the debt binge is the rise in purchase by companies of their own stock in order to boost share market valuations, with companies spending more than $3 trillion over the past five years for this purpose.

Growing concerns over stability of the international monetary system

By Nick Beams, 27 November 2019

Fears of a possible financial crisis are being fuelled by the experiences of the past decade of monetary policy.

OECD cuts global growth forecast

By Nick Beams, 23 November 2019

The chief economist of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that “things are not really moving” and there was a danger that low growth could become “entrenched.”

Trump repeats threat to escalate tariffs if no China trade deal is reached

By Nick Beams, 21 November 2019

A major source of conflict is the maintenance of existing tariffs, with China demanding that all tariffs imposed after negotiations collapsed in May be removed and a mechanism be put in place to roll back those imposed before then.

US Steel job cuts continue as it lays off workers in Indiana

By Jessica Goldstein, 19 November 2019

The recently announced layoffs are further proof that trade war measures are ultimately aimed against the working class around the world.

Growth continues to slow in major economies

By Nick Beams, 15 November 2019

In its report on the latest figures from China, the world’s second largest economy, Bloomberg said the “engines of China’s economies are spluttering with exports falling, factory output slowing, investment at a record low and consumption coming off the boil.”

Trump threatens “substantial” increase in anti-China tariffs

By Nick Beams, 13 November 2019

In a speech to the New York Economic Club, Trump claimed, amid falling GDP numbers, that his administration had “launched an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before.”

Growing inequality risks social revolution, hedge fund chief warns

By Nick Beams, 8 November 2019

With one eye clearly on the upsurge in the class struggle around the world over the past months, including in the United States, hedge fund chief Ray Dalio told a business conference the growth of social inequality was a national emergency and urgent steps had to be taken to address it.

Wall Street at record highs as global growth slows

By Nick Beams, 7 November 2019

Surging stock prices amidst a slowing real economy show the class role of the central banks in supplying the financial elite with unlimited cash while workers' conditions continue to worsen.

Fed guarantees more money for Wall Street as attacks on workers intensify

By Nick Beams, 31 October 2019

The markets celebrated the latest Fed decision, with the S&P 500 index posting its second record high for the week.

One year since the first Boeing 737 Max 8 crash

By Bryan Dyne, 29 October 2019

The year since the crash in Indonesia has exposed the collusion between Boeing, the federal government and the trade unions that led to the deaths of 346 men, women and children.

US and China reach limited trade deal

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2019

The markets responded enthusiastically with the Dow finishing up by more than 300 points, but for all the celebrations, the agreement is very limited.

Richest 400 Americans paid lower taxes than everyone else in 2018

By Trévon Austin, 10 October 2019

The overall tax rate on the richest .01 percent was only 23 percent last year, while the bottom half of the population paid 24.2 percent.

After mid-September financial market turbulence

US Fed announces return to asset purchases

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2019

In announcing the move, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said that without sufficient reserves in the banking system even normal demands for cash could cause “outsized movements in money market interest rates.”

Behind the GM strike: Wall Street wants temps for hi-tech vehicles and the UAW agrees

By Jerry White, 5 October 2019

Striking workers are resisting Wall Street’s demands for “more flexible manufacturing systems” to build electric and self-driving cars, including lower-paid temporary workers that the UAW has already agreed to.

New US tariffs escalate trade war with Europe

By Alex Lantier, 4 October 2019

The Trump administration’s announcement of tariffs on $7.5 billion on EU goods is only the latest shot in a spiraling trade war that is dragging the global economy toward recession.

Markets plunge as US enters manufacturing recession

By Andre Damon, 3 October 2019

US manufacturing activity shrunk for a second quarter in a row and the World Trade Organization said the growth in trade this year would be the lowest in a decade.

As GM tries to cut health benefits for workers on strike, Federal Reserve prepares more handouts to Wall Street

By Andre Damon, 19 September 2019

The federal government wants unlimited amounts of cash to be provided to the financial system in the event of a stock market downturn.

Trade war accelerates trend towards global recession

By Nick Beams, 5 September 2019

Manufacturing survey results from around the world point to a significant slowdown with no signs of increased activity in the coming months.

Trump imposes new tariffs on China

By Nick Beams, 2 September 2019

The new measures, to be followed by further imposts in December, have hit a wide range of consumer products, amid growing concerns of a recession in the global economy and the US.

Former Fed official calls on central bank to end accommodation to Trump

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2019

An extraordinary intervention by former New York Federal Reserve president Bill Dudley reflects rising political tensions, fuelled by the growing prospect of a US recession.

Bank of England governor tells Jackson Hole conference: Existing financial system will not hold

By Nick Beams, 27 August 2019

Reporting on the meeting, the Financial Times noted that that “there was a sense that things would never be the same again.”

Wall Street falls as US-China trade conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 24 August 2019

Tweets by Trump in response to tariff measures by Beijing were his most belligerent to date, taking aim not only against China, but US corporations and the Federal Reserve.

US Steel announces up to 200 layoffs at Great Lakes Works in Ecorse, Michigan

By Jessica Goldstein, 22 August 2019

The recent layoffs in suburban Detroit serve to shatter any illusion that workers' jobs and living standards can be protected through trade war measures.

Record global dividend payouts fuel rising social inequality

By Will Morrow, 22 August 2019

The report demonstrates how the financial markets serve as a mechanism for the transfer of wealth up the income scale, from the working class to the corporate elite.

Financial turbulence continues as major economies move towards recession

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2019

The gyrations in financial markets and the growing signs of recession—threatening to set in motion a crisis even more severe than that of 2008—pose vital political issues before the working class in every country.

Wall Street plunges on fears of global recession

By Nick Beams, 15 August 2019

Amid growing concerns that low interest rates and “quantitative easing” will not be enough to stave off a new global downturn, there is a deep fear in ruling circles of mounting opposition in the working class.

UK growth contraction caps week of economic turbulence

By Nick Beams, 10 August 2019

The British GDP data ended a week of deepening uncertainty in financial markets and growing fears of a recession in major areas of the global economy.

Currency war: A new stage in capitalist breakdown

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2019

A global currency conflict will take the economic warfare being waged by the US against “strategic competitors” such as China as well as its nominal allies to a new level.

US-China trade conflict escalates to currency war

By Nick Beams, 6 August 2019

Stock markets fell sharply around the world yesterday, amid fears of a currency war, after China allowed its currency, the renminbi, to pass through the benchmark of 7 to the US dollar.

Trump’s trade war measures hit the financial markets

By Nick Beams, 3 August 2019

In its analysis of the latest turn in the trade war, the South China Morning Post said China had to decide either to a walk away from the negotiations or make major concessions to the US.

Trump escalates trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2019

The decision to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, covering a wide range of consumer products, represents the most significant intensification of the more than year-long trade war to date.

Federal Reserve cuts rates, but Wall Street demands more

By Nick Beams, 1 August 2019

The Fed decision makes clear that the pumping of ultra-cheap money into the financial system by central banks for the benefit of the financial oligarchy has become the “new normal.”

Layoffs mount as slump in world auto industry deepens

By Shannon Jones, 30 July 2019

Continuing sales declines, led by China and India, are leading to massive job losses and attacks on autoworkers as transnational companies seek to maintain high levels of return.

Amid significant fall in investment

US economy slows in second quarter

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2019

Data on investment and industrial production show that pro-corporate tax cuts have not produced the resurgence in manufacturing and investment forecast by Trump.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins House Democrats in vote for Trump war budget

By Patrick Martin, 27 July 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, both members of the Democratic Socialists of America, voted for a bill that includes a record $738 billion for the military.

Amid growing signs of global slowdown

US-China trade talks to resume next week

By Nick Beams, 25 July 2019

The conflict has become more fraught since the US Commerce Department decided to place Huawei on its entity list, effectively banning it from supplies of US components for its operations.

Democrats reach deal with Trump on budget and debt ceiling

By Patrick Martin, 24 July 2019

The plan will boost military spending to record levels and reassure Wall Street.

Senator Warren warns of US economic “crash”

By Nick Beams, 24 July 2019

The bogus character of the agenda advanced by Warren, who has described herself as “capitalist to the bone,” is underscored by the measures she advances to meet the signs of a deepening crisis.

US coal giant Blackjewel, LLC and affiliates declare bankruptcy

By Zachary Thorton, 23 July 2019

Another coal giant has declared bankruptcy, leaving devastation in its wake as hundreds of workers are out of work and owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

The Bretton Woods Agreement 75 years on

By Nick Beams, 22 July 2019

The participants at the conference were acutely conscious of the fact that what was at stake in their deliberations to establish a new world economic order was nothing less than the survival of their rule.

Mixed signals on rate cut prompts Trump to demand the Fed enlist in US trade war against rivals

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2019

Trump is demanding that the Fed drop all pretence of “independence” and openly serve as an instrument of Washington’s economic war against its global competitors.

As US senators deepen attack on Huawei

Trump’s trade war against China hits Asian economies

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2019

Because it functions as a transhipment hub for final destinations in the rest of Asia, a sharp decline in exports from Singapore last month points to an economic slowdown across the region.

Jeff Bezos flaunts obscene wealth with $80 million Manhattan penthouse purchase

By Clare Hurley, 16 July 2019

Bezos’ $137 billion combined wealth could pay the annual median rent for all 250,000 Amazon workers in the US for 100 years.

Fed signals it will bow to Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 11 July 2019

Fed Chairman Powell’s testimony to Congress yesterday was warmly welcomed by the financial markets, with Wall Street’s S&P 500 index at one point surpassing 3,000, a new record.

As economic conflicts intensify

One year since the start of US trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2019

Under conditions of its relative economic decline, the US regards China's industrial and technological development as intolerable, and will use all methods necessary to prevent it.

The significance of Trump’s awarding of the Freedom Medal to Arthur Laffer

By Nick Beams, 25 June 2019

The fact that Laffer’s theories were exposed as economic nonsense from the outset did not in any way lessen their influence because they encapsulated the unrelenting drive for increased wealth that has dominated the ruling elite over the past four decades.

As Trump ramps up trade war, US Steel to idle three blast furnaces in the US and Europe

By Jessica Goldstein, 22 June 2019

Because of the furnace shutdowns, hundreds or even thousands of workers could eventually lose their jobs worldwide.

As contract talks set to begin

GM throws down gauntlet to autoworkers

By Jerry White, 21 June 2019

The industry publication Automotive News says the automaker will demand the hiring of more low paid temps and cuts to existing health care benefits.

“Sully” Sullenberger testifies that the 737 Max 8 was “fatally flawed”

By Bryan Dyne, 21 June 2019

The airline captain’s statement to Congress exposed the negligence of Boeing and questioned the relationship between the company and regulatory agencies.

US Federal Reserve signals readiness for interest rate cut

By Nick Beams, 20 June 2019

Fed chairman Jerome Powell gave a clear indication that rate cuts were on the table, pointing to “significant changes” in the statement of its policy-making body.

Market surge continues on prospect of Fed rate cut

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2019

One financial analyst told the Wall Street Journal the markets were a “slave to liquidity, and when the Fed is accommodative, it’s a good sign for the markets.”

US job growth down sharply, wages stagnate

By Jerry White, 10 June 2019

US workers have seen a mere 1.1 percent increase in real wages over the last year.

IMF warns of growing trade war

By Nick Beams, 7 June 2019

Trump’s threat to use tariffs against Mexico over immigration has sent a shock wave through the international trading system because it makes clear the US is prepared to use economic and trade warfare measures to pursue all of its policy objectives.

US coal producer Cloud Peak Energy files for bankruptcy

By Zachary Thorton, 7 June 2019

Over 1,200 miners face a precarious future after the third-largest US coal producer declared bankruptcy.

US stocks surge as Fed signals rate cut

By Barry Grey, 5 June 2019

US stock prices shot up Tuesday, reversing weeks of declines, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that he was prepared to slash interest rates.

The US and China on a collision course

By Andre Damon, 3 June 2019

The “cold war” between the United States and China took a major step toward becoming a “hot” war over the weekend at the annual Shangri-La defense summit in Singapore.

Trump’s Mexican tariff threat hits global markets

By Nick Beams, 1 June 2019

In pursuit of his political agenda, Trump has made clear he is prepared to resort to the unprecedented use of economic measures, with far-reaching international ramifications.

Rumored deal between Fiat-Chrysler and Renault foreshadows mass layoffs

By Tom Hall, 27 May 2019

The proposed deal with the French automaker will be used to eliminate “redundancies,” particularly in FCA’s unprofitable European operations.

Dressbarn to close all its stores as US “retail apocalypse” exceeds 2018 closures

By Anthony Bertolt, 27 May 2019

The liquidation of the clothing retailer will throw approximately 6,800 workers out of their jobs with little, if any, support.

Markets fall on trade war and global growth fears

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2019

The Financial Times cited one fund manager who said it was “panic mode” and “people are realising that the economy could be a lot slower than we thought.”

White House and Google launch technology war against China

By Andre Damon, 21 May 2019

Google and other companies have announced measures that would effectively destroy Huawei, the second-largest global smartphone maker and the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment.

Police escort workers out of closed plant in Central Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 20 May 2019

Police were called to stand by as nearly 1,000 workers were abruptly thrown out of their jobs at this Central Pennsylvania factory

No agreement at US-China trade talks as positions harden

By Nick Beams, 11 May 2019

A week ago, a deal had been expected, but that scenario was blown up when the Trump administration accused Beijing of backtracking on its commitments.

The Uber IPO: Billions for investors, increased exploitation for workers

By Shannon Jones, 11 May 2019

The global strikes and protests by Uber and Lyft drivers amid an orgy of stockholder enrichment underscore the need for workers to adopt an international socialist strategy.

US tariff hike against China goes ahead

By Nick Beams, 10 May 2019

Trump said talks with Chinese representatives would proceed, but “I have no idea what’s going to happen.”

On eve of trade talks in Washington

Trump threatens new tariffs against China

By Nick Beams, 6 May 2019

Trump’s threats, aimed at putting intense pressure on Chinese negotiators when they sit down with their US counterparts on Wednesday, could have the effect of blowing up the talks.

US-China trade talks enter final phase

By Nick Beams, 4 May 2019

One of the main sticking points is agreement on the procedure by which US tariffs imposed on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods would be lifted if a trade agreement is reached.

US threatens UK over Huawei involvement in 5G network

By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2019

After it was leaked that Huawei could help build the British 5G network, the Trump administration is threatening to shut Britain out of “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing.

Amazon posts record $3.6 billion profit in first three months of 2019

By Niles Niemuth, 27 April 2019

Amazon plans to increase the exploitation of workers in the US and internationally by implementing free one day shipping for Prime subscribers to ensure ever-bigger profits.

Fed “pivot” promotes stock market surge

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2019

While share prices soar, the global economic outlook has worsened, with growing signs of a downturn.

OECD report: Growth of social inequality fuels global political and economic crisis

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 April 2019

The findings of the report showed that among OECD countries, a growing number of middle-income earners perceive “that the current socioeconomic system is unfair.”

Empty buildings, empty promises: Foxconn con job continues in Wisconsin

By Jacob Crosse, 22 April 2019

An estimated $300 million has already been siphoned from public coffers to provide transportation access for a nonexistent factory complex.

New round of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2019

Among the most contentious issues that remain unresolved are which US tariffs would continue force and the establishment of an enforcement mechanism.

Trump, the Fed and the New York Times

By Nick Beams, 17 April 2019

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Fed after Wall Street last year experienced its worst December result since the depths of the Great Depression in 1931.

US Tax Day 2019: Sixty giant corporations pay zero income tax

By Patrick Martin, 16 April 2019

As a consequence of Trump’s 2017 tax cut for the wealthy, the number of Fortune 500 companies paying no federal income taxes has doubled.

As trade tensions increase, IMF lowers forecasts for global growth

By Nick Beams, 11 April 2019

The IMF reported that industrial production and investment remained weak in many advanced and developing economies, and world trade had yet to recover.

Trump calls for more cheap money for financial markets

By Nick Beams, 8 April 2019

Proposals by Trump to fill two vacancies on the Fed’s board of governors have brought denunciations of political stacking.

US-China trade deal pushed back

By Nick Beams, 6 April 2019

Trump emerged from a meeting with chief Chinese trade negotiator Liu He to say it would take at least four weeks to reach an agreement as he declined to set a date for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Investigation shows that a malfunctioning Boeing sensor caused Ethiopian Airlines crash

By Kevin Reed, 5 April 2019

The preliminary report by the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau shows that a faulty angle-of-attack sensor was behind the crash on March 10 that killed 157 passengers and crew.

Amid auto layoffs and warnings of manufacturing “bloodbath”

IMF chief points to global growth deceleration

By Nick Beams, 4 April 2019

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde noted that while two years ago 75 percent of the global economy was experiencing an upswing, today 70 percent is in a slowdown.

Sears abruptly slashes life insurance coverage for 90,000 retirees

By Jacob Crosse, 3 April 2019

Retirees have been given two options—either convert all or a portion of the previously held policy into a new plan, and begin making payments, or watch it evaporate.