World economy

Canadian government’s bailout increases banks’ control over economy and state

By Roger Jordan, 4 April 2020

Canada’s Liberal government is funnelling hundreds of billions of dollars to the banks and major corporations to guarantee the wealth of the capitalist elite.

Banks set to make billions from stimulus measures

By Nick Beams, 3 April 2020

Banks, lobby groups, major legal firms and hedge funds are all striving to get their slice of the largest corporate and financial bailout in history.

For emergency action against the destruction of jobs! Full financial and social support for all working people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic!

Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 3 April 2020

All sections of the working class must be fully compensated for the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Stock market sell-off resumes

By Nick Beams, 2 April 2020

The renewed market downturn followed statements by President Trump that US deaths from the coronavirus could be 240,000 while hinting that the toll could be even higher.

Airlines, auto companies cut pay even as US government bails out corporations

By Shannon Jones, 1 April 2020

While prepared to pocket tens of billions of dollars in federal bailout money, US airlines and automakers are imposing pay cuts and furloughs on employees.

As Wall Street finishes worst quarter since 2008

Financial turbulence continues to grow

By Nick Beams, 1 April 2020

While COVID-19 was the trigger it was not the underlying cause, as the financial system was set to crash due to the dizzy rise of the markets divorced from the real economy.

Canada’s governments exempt sections of industry from lockdowns, imperilling workers’ lives

By Roger Jordan, 1 April 2020

Placing profits before workers’ lives, Ontario and Quebec have declared businesses “essential” that have nothing to do with providing healthcare, food, power or other life necessities.

Quebec tries to extort concessions from health care and other public sector workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 1 April 2020

By offering their “full cooperation” to the CAQ government during the coronavirus pandemic, the unions have opened the door for an intensified state attack on public sector workers.

COVID-19 pandemic leads to mass sackings in Australia

By Martin Scott, 1 April 2020

Unemployment is likely to rise above 15 percent as hundreds of thousands of workers lose their jobs.

As US cases of COVID-19 surpass all other countries

Trump’s “Get back to work” demagogy aids the spread of the pandemic

By Joseph Kishore, 27 March 2020

Amidst an expanding pandemic, which is still in its early stages, the Trump administration is intensifying its efforts to force a return to work, which would endanger the lives of millions of workers.

New US unemployment claims hit 3.28 million as pandemic produces economic catastrophe

By Shannon Jones, 27 March 2020

The number of new weekly claims for state unemployment benefits reached the staggering total of 3.28 million, an increase of 1,000 percent over the previous week, and the largest such total in history.

Wall Street rise continues as coronavirus infections accelerate

By Nick Beams, 27 March 2020

The extreme volatility of the markets is such that the Dow, having entered a bear market—defined as a fall of 20 percent—has now returned to bull market status, all in the space of just six weeks.

Bipartisan corporate bailout gives $17 billion to Boeing

By Bryan Dyne, 27 March 2020

The top executives who oversaw the cost-cutting, layoffs and cover-ups that resulted in two crashes and the deaths of 346 people are being rewarded with billions in taxpayer money.

US Senate passes massive economic “rescue” bill

By Patrick Martin, 26 March 2020

The $2 trillion bill allocates the bulk of its funds to loans and grants to corporations and businesses, with some emergency aid to workers.

German investor Dibelius: Big business must take priority over health care

By Peter Schwarz, 26 March 2020

It will only be a matter of days before Dibelius and his ilk will demand that workers who refuse to risk their health by going back to work should be forced to do so.

Wall Street surges on prospect of government corporate bailouts

By Nick Beams, 25 March 2020

Markets were also boosted by Trump’s push to have major lockdowns lifted regardless of the health consequences for the mass of the population.

Message from big business on coronavirus pandemic: Save profits, not lives

By Andre Damon, 24 March 2020

As the death toll from the coronavirus soars and hospitals fill up, the White House and the US media are insisting that the profits of the corporate-financial elite must take precedence over the lives of millions.

Germany: Appalling lack of protective equipment in COVID-19 outbreak

By Markus Salzmann, 24 March 2020

It is still virtually impossible to be tested for the life-threatening virus and there is a lack of protective marks and other urgently needed equipment for health care workers.

US Fed unveils further massive financial intervention

By Nick Beams, 24 March 2020

The central bank’s program of quantitative easing, involving the purchases of government bonds, is now virtually unlimited.

US Congress moves toward massive bailout of big business

By Patrick Martin, 24 March 2020

The wrangling between Democrats and Republicans in Washington is political theater to disguise the highway robbery being carried out by corporate America.

Michigan issues statewide lockdown, exempting auto industry as “critical infrastructure”

By Tom Hall, 24 March 2020

The order exempts “critical manufacturing” as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security, setting the stage for a return to work in the plants weeks before the lockdown order expires.

Boeing closes Seattle-area plants after worker’s coronavirus death

By Hector Cordon, 24 March 2020

Two weeks after the first emergence of a coronavirus infection in its Everett, Washington, plant, Boeing has shut down production in the region.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ message to warehouse workers: Keep working despite coronavirus threat

By Nick Barrickman, 24 March 2020

After strikes by US and European Amazon workers over the danger to their health, the company’s billionaire CEO feigned concern while insisting that workers keep pumping out profits.

Under pressure from online protests over coronavirus concerns, GameStop shutters California stores

By Luke Galvin, 24 March 2020

The half-measure concessions, which went into effect Sunday, also included keeping stores in the rest of the United States operating with “delivery-to-door” service.

Risk of wider outbreak of COVID-19 remains high in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 24 March 2020

Workers are being kept on the job, exposing themselves and their communities to greater risks.

Australia: Coronavirus cancellations decimate live performance industry

By Martin Scott, 24 March 2020

Tens of thousands of performers are facing an indeterminate period without work.

Mexican medical workers protest lack of supplies

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 March 2020

Medical workers in a number of cities in Mexico have staged protests over the lack of critical supplies needed to treat patients and protect doctors and nurses.

Global economic slump accelerating

By Nick Beams, 23 March 2020

Just as the coronavirus and its health impacts were severely underestimated, so were its effects on the economy.

Market slide resumes in worst week for Wall Street since 2008

By Nick Beams, 21 March 2020

Beyond the precipitous fall in share prices, the crisis has been transmitted into all corners of the financial markets, leaving no asset class exempt.

While dumping their stock, US senators misled the public on coronavirus crisis

By Jacob Crosse, 21 March 2020

After receiving classified intelligence briefings, at least four US senators sold millions of dollars worth of stock while downplaying the severity of the virus to the public.

Massive social disaster looms as worldwide job losses from coronavirus pandemic expected to reach 25 million

By Jerry White, 20 March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is now metastasizing into an immense economic and social crisis.

Stock markets hold steady but global dollar shortage looms

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2020

Major interventions by the world’s central banks have come in response to the passage of financial markets into a kind of through-the-looking-glass world in which everything is reversed.

Markets plunge again in rush to cash

By Nick Beams, 19 March 2020

Measures taken by central banks have failed to quell the market turmoil with calls for even greater quantitative easing.

As US Fed seeks to rescue financial markets and corporations demand bailouts

Workers hit by job losses and pay cuts

By Nick Beams, 18 March 2020

The US job losses are certain to be replicated in other major economies around the world as lockdowns extend.

As lockdowns mount over COVID-19 worldwide, WHO pleads for more testing

By Bryan Dyne, 17 March 2020

President Trump admitted Monday that the coronavirus pandemic may not be contained in the US until at least July.

Despite massive Fed intervention, market plunge continues

By Nick Beams, 17 March 2020

The theme of all the comments from financial analysts was that action by central banks could do nothing to halt the downward spiral.

Temporary work stoppage at Fiat Chrysler’s Warren Truck plant as wildcat strikes spread in global auto industry

By Jerry White, 17 March 2020

Actions against continued production during the coronavirus pandemic have spread from Italy to Spain, Canada and now the United States.

Spain deploys army to impose coronavirus lockdown

By Alejandro López, 17 March 2020

Spain has registered more than 9,191 infections, becoming the second country after Italy with most new infections.

The impact of the coronavirus crisis in Florence

By our reporter, 17 March 2020

The inadequacies are largely due to the constant cuts that have been made to the national health system over the last two-three decades, under every government, whether center-right or center-left.

Canadian workers launch work-safety job actions amid rapid spread of coronavirus

By Carl Bronski, 17 March 2020

While workers are being forced by employers in the private and public sectors to labour under dangerous and unsafe working conditions, the Trudeau government is moving to provide the financial and corporate oligarchy unlimited financial assistance.

Amid coronavirus pandemic Nevada gaming commission announces “no plans” to close casinos

By Jacob Crosse, 17 March 2020

Regulators in just six US states—Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and Massachusetts—have ordered casinos shut down in a criminally belated attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Uruguayan teachers strike; Saskatchewan teachers begin job action

Workers Struggles: The Americas

17 March 2020

Teachers in Uruguay staged a one-day strike March 11 over the government’s economic proposal, while 13,000 teachers across Saskatchewan began rotating jobs actions.

As credit markets start to freeze

US Fed slashes rates to zero and returns to “quantitative easing”

By Nick Beams, 16 March 2020

In an indication of the global dimensions of the financial crisis, the Fed lowered the cost of dollars available to five other central banks via international swap lines.

Cruise ship industry announces worldwide shutdown in response to coronavirus pandemic, leaving ship workers in the lurch

By Tom Casey, 16 March 2020

While directives for employees have been changing rapidly, it’s evident that the cruise ship giants will attempt to impose their losses on the backs of their workforce.

Turbulent week on Wall Street ends with market surge

By Nick Beams, 14 March 2020

Even with yesterday’s surge, the Dow has lost around 15 percent this week with Wall Street Journal noting it was “one of the worst in history.”

Global auto industry in downward spiral as coronavirus spreads worldwide

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 March 2020

Even prior to the outbreak, automakers had announced hundreds of thousands of layoffs and many plant closures.

Anger erupts as Art Van Furniture liquidation sales begin

By Kevin Reed, 14 March 2020

Workers and customers reacted with anger to the closure and liquidation of Detroit-area Art Van Furniture as further details emerged about the financial condition of the company in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing over the weekend.

Stock markets plunge in biggest fall since October 1987 crash

By Nick Beams, 13 March 2020

The stock market plunge is generating a crisis in the entire financial system.

Wall Street sell-off resumes as Dow enters bear market territory

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2020

Markets are set to plunge further today following US President Trump’s virulently nationalist address yesterday evening in which he labelled the coronavirus as a “foreign virus.”

Market turbulence continues in day of swings

By Nick Beams, 11 March 2020

The main factor behind the Wall Street rise appears to have been the announcement of a “major” US economic relief package, prompting the belief there are profits to be made out of such measures.

Markets plunge in worst fall since 2008 crisis

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2020

While the collapse in oil prices triggered the sell-off, the underlying cause lies in the complete divorce of share market valuations from the underlying real economy.

Prison riots erupt as Rome extends coronavirus lockdown to all of Italy

By Alex Lantier, 10 March 2020

Inmates’ families protested outside prisons against the authorities’ refusal to release prisoners or provide them with protection from contagion inside overcrowded prisons.

The coronavirus pandemic and the failure of capitalism

By Andre Damon and David North, 10 March 2020

The crisis produced by the coronavirus pandemic has delivered a powerful message: the capitalist system and the needs of society are fundamentally incompatible.

Renewed protests in Chile; Michigan delivery drivers strike over healthcare

Workers Struggles: The Americas

10 March 2020

Thousands participated against austerity, inequality and repression in Chile while Teamster delivery drivers manned pickets in Monroe, Michigan

Oil price war set to trigger new financial storms

By Nick Beams, 9 March 2020

Trading this week began with a fall in the price of Brent crude from $45 a barrel to $31.52, one of the biggest single-day falls in its history.

Another downward swing on Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 6 March 2020

The gyrations in global stock markets have focused attention on underlying trends that are creating the conditions for another financial crisis on the scale of 2008 or even larger.

The number of ultrawealthy individuals is growing dramatically on a world scale

By Kevin Reed, 6 March 2020

A new report by the consulting firm Knight Frank shows that the number of super-wealthy people in the world—those with more than $30 million in assets—is projected to increase by 27 percent over the next five years.

Workers to pay the price as Australia joins global slide into recession

By Mike Head, 5 March 2020

The Covid-19 disaster has not yet resulted in large-scale sickness in Australia, but major companies are already unveiling job cuts due to the global impact on production, trade and travel.

Democratic billionaire governor of Illinois proposes austerity budget

By Brian Walker and Alexander Fangmann, 5 March 2020

Minuscule spending increases in K-12 education and social services would be conditional on passage of a constitutional amendment instituting a graduated income tax in the November election.

Fed cuts interest rate, but market plunge resumes

By Nick Beams, 4 March 2020

The Fed rate cut, unanimously agreed to at a teleconference on Monday evening, was the first carried out between scheduled meetings since the financial crisis of 2008.

Japanese government facing growing criticism over Covid-19 outbreak

By Ben McGrath, 3 March 2020

Prime Minister Abe has been accused of inaction will the virus spreads in the hopes of minimizing the impact on the economy.

Governments skimp on funds to fight the coronavirus, open cash spigots for the banks

By Andre Damon, 3 March 2020

While only a pittance is available to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens to kill millions of people, unlimited funds are being made available to bail out the financial elite.

Record fall in key China production index

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2020

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced over the weekend that the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 35.7 in February, down from 50 in January, hitting an all-time low.

Stock market fall continues at record speed

By Nick Beams, 29 February 2020

One somewhat stunned investment funds manager told the Wall Street Journal: “This has been really quick, really deep, and in some respects unbelievable.”

German department store chain Real to be broken up, threatening 34,000 jobs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 29 February 2020

The new owners have announced that they will not retain a single store for longer than two years if necessary.

Coronavirus spread sparks “bloodbath” on Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 28 February 2020

Wall Street is down more than 10 percent from the record highs of last week and the S&P 500 index has experienced its sharpest ever fall from an all-time record.

The coronavirus pandemic and the need for global socialized medicine

By Alex Lantier, 27 February 2020

A planned, rational deployment of worldwide medical and industrial resources is essential to keep the disease from potentially claiming millions of lives.

Wall Street falls as coronavirus spreads

By Nick Beams, 26 February 2020

After reaching record highs last week, the major indexes have lost all their gains for the year, wiping out some $2.1 trillion from share values.

OECD sounds corporate debt warning

By Nick Beams, 24 February 2020

The OECD pointed to an “unprecedented build-up of corporate bond debt” since the financial crisis of 2008 with an increase of $2.1 trillion in 2019 alone.

General Motors receives 75 percent local tax abatement for Lordstown battery plant

By Tom Hall, 22 February 2020

The new battery plant will employ only 1,100 workers making between $15 and $17 per hour—only a quarter of the number who once worked at the now-shuttered Lordstown Assembly Plant.

China denounces US “lies” at the Munich Security Conference

By Peter Symonds, 19 February 2020

Beijing’s blunt language is an attempt to counter Washington’s relentless propaganda offensive and also to seek support from the European powers.

McClatchy newspaper chain files for bankruptcy

By Jessica Goldstein, 19 February 2020

A planned takeover of McClatchy by Chatham Asset Management will mean that the vast majority of US newspapers will be controlled by Wall Street financial firms.

Markets soar as companies announce mass layoffs

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2020

The impoverishment of the working class is not an accidental outcome of the accumulation of wealth by a rapacious financial oligarchy—the two are directly linked.

US: Wayfair, Tripadvisor and other tech companies announce layoffs

By Mike Ingram, 18 February 2020

The two companies headquartered in Massachusetts announced layoffs as investors demand profitability while at least eight Bay Area tech companies have alerted the state government of job losses totaling 1,100 positions.

Chinese government defends its response to coronavirus

By Benjamin Mateus, 18 February 2020

Beijing has come under fire from the international community, as well as its citizens, for mishandling the early stages of the outbreak.

US threatens Europe over Huawei at Munich Security Conference

By Andre Damon, 17 February 2020

After the UK, France and Germany announced they would not ban Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from their networks, US officials sought to threaten their NATO allies into changing course.

Eurozone growth slows to lowest level in seven years

By Nick Beams, 17 February 2020

The chief driving force of the downturn is the fall in industrial production, with Eurostat reporting last week that output fell 2.1 percent in December, bringing the total decline for the year to 4.1 percent.

Trump nominee in doubt for Federal Reserve position

By Nick Beams, 15 February 2020

The Shelton nomination has attracted elevated attention because she is viewed as a potential choice by Trump for the position of Fed chair if he wins re-election and decides to oust the current chair Jerome Powell.

Trump’s “Blue Collar Boom”: Myth vs Reality

By Tom Hall, 15 February 2020

The reality of American social life is very different than the fantasy of a “blue-collar boom” which Trump delivered during last week’s State of the Union address.

US brings new charges against Chinese telecom giant Huawei

By Nick Beams, 14 February 2020

The unveiling of new charges underscores the distinctive approach taken by the US state towards what are in essence commercial disputes.

Workers at GM’s Silao, Mexico plant charge union with stuffing ballots during recognition vote

By Andrea Lobo, 14 February 2020

The effort by General Motors and the Confederation of Mexican Workers to certify their contract at the Silao complex is a warning to workers across Mexico about the anti-democratic content of the government’s supposed labor reforms.

Market surge continues ahead of confirmation hearings for New York Fed Governor nominee

By Nick Beams, 13 February 2020

Markets are soaring as the Federal Reserve makes clear it stands ready to inject still more cheap money into the financial system in the event of any significant market downturn.

Coronavirus could deliver major hit to world economy

By Nick Beams, 12 February 2020

Despite a return to work in some areas, major Chinese regions have taken on a “ghost-town ambience.”

Recession warnings fuel political instability in Australia

By Mike Head, 12 February 2020

The bushfire and coronavirus disasters have had an enormous economic and social impact.

Trump’s budget proposal: A new offensive in the social counterrevolution

By Eric London, 12 February 2020

The announcement begins the staged process in which the Democratic Party feigns indignation over the proposed cuts only to ultimately accede to many of the demands.

Thousands of students affected by New Zealand’s anti-Chinese travel ban

By Tom Peters, 11 February 2020

A student who spoke to the WSWS described the travel ban, ostensibly aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus, as a “dream come true” for the NZ First Party and other right-wing nationalists.

As Brazilian oil workers’ strike grows, Labor Court rules it “abusive”

By Gabriel Lemos, 11 February 2020

The Brazilian ruling elite fears that the strike at the state-owed oil giant Petrobras will spread to other sections of public and private sector workers.

Ford shakes up management, prepares for more cuts after 99 percent profit decline

By Marcus Day, 11 February 2020

Ford’s falling profits and management reshuffling herald an acceleration of the company’s years-long turnaround plan and attacks on workers globally.

John Deere announces layoffs at Iowa plant

By George Gallanis, 11 February 2020

Since announcing plans last August to cut costs and boost profits as part of its drive for “organizational efficiency,” Deere has laid off 220 workers at plants across Illinois and Iowa.

The coronavirus pandemic: A global disaster

By Bryan Dyne, 11 February 2020

The coronavirus contagion has become a disaster and a tragedy for the tens of thousands infected and the tens of millions who remain under quarantine.

Trump outlines massive cuts in Medicaid and Medicare in 2021 budget plan

By Kevin Reed, 10 February 2020

The Trump administration is scheduled to release a 2021 budget plan on Monday that includes deep reductions in entitlement programs and other mandatory spending while increasing funding for the military and the Department of Homeland Security.

Coronavirus to have deep impact on global economy

By Nick Beams, 8 February 2020

The US Federal Reserve warned that “possible spillovers from the effects of the coronavirus in China have presented a new risk to the outlook.”

Warnings issued over share market surge

By Nick Beams, 7 February 2020

In a speech this week, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Philip Lowe pointed to the growing risks posed by the cheap money policies of the world’s central banks.

GM workers denounce forced overtime imposed with UAW collusion

By George Kirby and Tim Rivers, 7 February 2020

Workers from General Motors Customer Care & Aftersales facilities and other factories in Michigan are angered by continuous forced overtime imposed in the aftermath of the 2019 UAW sellout contract.

BorgWarner buys Delphi as mergers in global auto industry slash thousands of jobs

By Tim Rivers, 7 February 2020

The move by BorgWarner is the latest step in the vast restructuring of the industry, as carmakers and supplies scramble to dominate the emerging electrical and autonomous vehicle markets.

Kahatagaha miners in Sri Lanka must fight for socialist policies

By Naveen Dewage, 7 February 2020

The three-day walkout by graphite miners in defiance of their unions indicates the increasing radicalisation of the working class and the rapid break up of illusions in the new government.

Wall Street rises as coronavirus weighs heavily on global economy

By Nick Beams, 5 February 2020

Economic activity is at a virtual standstill in at least 21 Chinese provinces which account for 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 90 percent of its exports.

Sharp fall on Wall Street as coronavirus hits global markets

By Nick Beams, 1 February 2020

Financial analysts are warning that the virus has created a more uncertain environment than the US-China trade war and its impact could be greater than that of the SARS virus in 2002–2003.

Amid impeachment, Trump signs North American trade deal passed with Democratic support

By Tom Hall, 30 January 2020

The bipartisan support for the USMCA shows that all factions in Washington agree on an intensification of economic conflict with China.

Brazilian President Bolsonaro guest of honor at India’s Republic Day

By Tomas Castanheira, 30 January 2020

Modi advocated a “strategic partnership” based on “similar ideology and similar values.”