US Economy

The militarist component of Trump’s trade war

By Nick Beams, 20 September 2018

While China is at present the prime target, the Trump administration sees the US as being involved in an economic war against the rest of the world.

Ten years after the financial crash

Wall Street pay up 13 percent while workers’ wages stagnate

By Barry Grey, 19 September 2018

The average pay of Wall Street traders and brokers rose to $422,500.

China retaliates against US trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 19 September 2018

The escalating trade war is heightening economic instability and fueling geo-political tensions, not only between the US and China, but internationally.

The implications of US-China trade war

By Nick Beams, 18 September 2018

The world’s two largest economies have entered a rapidly-escalating trade war with vast global consequences.

Ten years after Lehman: New financial crises in the making

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2018

Commentaries on the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse voice fears of another meltdown.

Ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2018

September 15, 2008 marked a milestone in the eruption of the most far-reaching and devastating crisis of the capitalist system since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

IMF pushes for more social cuts in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 3 September 2018

Amid growing strikes of miners and other workers, the IMF is using the corruption of the Ukrainian oligarchy to push for social cuts.

Trade tensions increase as US-Canada talks miss deadline

By Nick Beams, 1 September 2018

Trump warned that if Canada did not agree to US terms “the easiest thing we can do is tariff their cars coming in,” a threat which he repeated in remarks yesterday.

Tax cuts boost US bank profits to record highs

By Trévon Austin, 30 August 2018

Banks and corporations are channeling the bulk of their savings from the tax cuts into stock buybacks, dividend increases and mergers and acquisitions.

The class dynamics of the stock market bull run

By Nick Beams, 24 August 2018

The record-breaking stock market rally is the outcome of the relentless class war pursued by the ruling elite after the 2008 financial crash.

CEO pay up 17 percent while US workers’ wages stagnate

By Matthew Taylor and Barry Grey, 18 August 2018

The typical CEO of a large firm in the US makes in a single day almost as much as the typical worker earns in an entire year.

No money for wages, schools, health care, but…

Stock buybacks will hit $1 trillion in 2018

By Barry Grey, 8 August 2018

Trillions are being squandered on inflating stock prices and the fortunes of the CEOs and big investors, while the real wages of US workers continue to decline.

Trump administration cuts in rent subsidies compound US housing crisis

By Kate Randall, 6 August 2018

With rents rising and construction of affordable apartments lagging, Trump is implementing a punitive policy that will exacerbate the already dire housing crisis.

Class exploitation and the market: The secret of the $1 trillion corporation

By Andre Damon, 4 August 2018

Apple, awash in profits extracted from workers all over the world, has become the first corporation to officially reach the $1 trillion milestone.

Bottom 40 percent of Americans have a negative net income

By Gabriel Black, 3 August 2018

A report by Reuters shows that nearly half of the US population does not earn enough money to cover expenses and is increasingly dependent on unsustainable levels of debt to survive.

Trump set to hike tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2018

The US is actively considering escalating proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent up from the initial level of 10 percent.

Trump plans a $100 billion tax bonus for the rich

By Niles Niemuth, 1 August 2018

The Trump administration is preparing to change the calculation of the capital gains tax so as to funnel billions more to the top 10 percent.

As US workers’ wages continue to fall

Oracle CEO pockets $250 million after Trump tax cut

By Niles Niemuth, 31 July 2018

By the end of the year, American corporations will have enriched their top executives and investors with $2.5 trillion obtained through stock buybacks, increased dividend payments, and mergers and acquisitions.

Rifts emerge in US-EU trade deal

By Nick Beams, 31 July 2018

The Trump administration is keeping a gun at the head of the EU over auto tariffs as it continues an investigation into whether to impose them on “national security” grounds.

As UPS, steel and telecom companies demand wage freezes

Workers in US face growing class battles

By Jerry White, 30 July 2018

Employers are not only refusing to relent on wages, they are doubling down and demanding new givebacks on healthcare, pensions and work rules.

Political warfare in Washington escalates with subpoena of Trump organization CFO

By Alec Andersen, 27 July 2018

The subpoena comes in the wake of an abortive effort to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus.

The Trump-Juncker agreement: A manoeuvre in the global trade war

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2018

The threat by Washington to impose a 25 percent tariff on auto imports has not been removed, but only suspended while negotiations go ahead on broader trade relations.

Seven months after Trump’s tax cut

Corporate tax collection rate at historic low

By Gabriel Black, 26 July 2018

The trillions in deficits created by the tax cuts for the rich will be used to justify further slashes to critical social programs that millions of Americans rely on.

Report documents plundering of US wealth through tax cuts for the rich

By John Marion, 16 July 2018

The report's data expose the lie that there is “no money” to fund basic social needs such as decent-paying jobs, health care, education and housing.

Inflation cutting real wages of US workers

By Barry Grey, 14 July 2018

Wage stagnation amidst relatively low unemployment and accelerating economic growth is the outcome of a decades-long social counterrevolution, made possible by the trade unions’ suppression of the class struggle.

The class war over wages

By Eric London, 12 July 2018

In an article published Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal worries that “rising wages are beginning to eat into the profits of some US companies.”

Wall Street rebounds after federal jobs report shows continued wage stagnation

By Alec Andersen, 7 July 2018

U.S. stock indexes saw a significant increase Friday in response to the June jobs report, which showed continuing wage stagnation.

OECD report details

A global economic “recovery” without wage increases

By Patrick Martin, 6 July 2018

A report by the grouping of 36 most economically developed countries found that the proliferation of low-wage, part-time jobs has held down wage growth for workers throughout the world.

Trump fires opening shot in trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 6 July 2018

The US president has already threatened to impose additional tariffs on up to $400 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing retaliates.

Ten years after the Wall Street crash, record stock buybacks and mergers

By Gabriel Black, 5 July 2018

The money-mad fixation of the financial oligarchy on ever rising share values is starving society of resources and preventing any social problem from being addressed.

Trudeau beats nationalist drum as Canada imposes retaliatory tariffs against US

By Roger Jordan, 4 July 2018

Ottawa is waging trade war not to defend workers and their livelihoods, but to protect the markets and profits of Canadian big business.

GE dropped from the Dow Jones Industrial Average

By John Marion, 3 July 2018

The removal of the last of the original 12 Dow Jones components is a symbolic milestone in the financialization of the American economy.

European Union warns of global trade war if US auto tariffs go ahead

By Nick Beams, 2 July 2018

An EU submission to the US Commerce Department warns of major reprisals if the Trump administration goes ahead with auto tariffs.

Trump goes with Mnuchin plan on Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2018

The move appears to have been motivated to a considerable extent by Wall Street’s reaction to a more hardline proposal that prompted the Dow to fall at one point by 500 points on Monday.

Trade war fears hit global markets

By Nick Beams, 26 June 2018

The Trump administration reportedly plans to invoke powers allowing the president to impose sanctions on the grounds of a “national emergency.”

After tariff measures against China

Trump threatens to escalate trade war with Europe

By Nick Beams, 23 June 2018

Central bankers at a meeting in Sintra, Portugal, voiced their concerns about the developing global trade war.

White House report lays out economic war against China

By Nick Beams, 21 June 2018

China’s “economic aggression” is denounced as threatening the US and the global economy.

Trump escalates trade war with new tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 20 June 2018

The latest moves by the US administration brought a fall in stock markets amid growing concerns that trade war will have a significant impact on investment and global supply chains.

Washington launches trade war measures against China

By Ben McGrath, 16 June 2018

The decision by the Trump Administration to initiate a trade war between the world’s two largest economies will contribute to the already growing tensions and danger of military conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.

Court sanction of AT&T-Time Warner merger strengthens corporate grip on news and entertainment

By Barry Grey, 13 June 2018

Coming just one day after the termination of net neutrality, the federal court ruling sets the stage for the further consolidation of monopoly control and suppression of oppositional points of view.

Deep divisions over US trade policies at G7 finance ministers meeting

By Nick Beams, 4 June 2018

The statement from the G7, agreed to by Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, pointed to the “negative impact of the unilateral trade actions of the United States.”

Backlash against US over tariffs

By Nick Beams, 2 June 2018

The European Union is pushing ahead with counter-measures against the US. It is expected to announce its final list of products to be targeted later this month.

US imposes steel and aluminium tariffs

Trump administration takes major step toward global trade war

By Nick Beams, 1 June 2018

The European Union said it would take immediate steps to retaliate, warning of a 1930s-style depression.

Fed eases “Volcker Rule” limits on bank speculation

By Patrick Martin, 1 June 2018

The move is the latest step in a systematic campaign to lift even the mild restrictions on bank activities imposed after the 2008 Wall Street crash.

Harley-Davidson workers’ anger grows over impending Kansas City plant closure

By Marcus Day, 1 June 2018

Fueling outrage is the company’s brazen display of corporate greed, showering investors with hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends and stock buybacks.

Trump sets out timetable for anti-China tariffs

By Nick Beams, 31 May 2018

The White House measures are aimed at China’s efforts to develop high-tech industries.

Bipartisan hostility to Trump deal on Chinese telecom firm ZTE

By Nick Beams, 28 May 2018

Moves are underway in the US Congress, supported by leading Republicans and Democrats, to extend bans on Chinese telecos regarded as a threat to “national security.”

Trump orders “national security” probe into auto industry

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2018

The investigation was directly linked to statements about economic preparations for war.

Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Company’s profits surge

By Isaac Finn, 25 May 2018

The iconic company announced that profits had experienced a massive 53 percent increase to $142 million in the first three months of this year, with sales exceeding $1 billion.

Trump trade deal comes under anti-China fire

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2018

The delay in imposing tariffs on China has been condemned by both sides of the US Congress as giving in to Beijing.

As US banks report record profits

Regulators, Congress move to end all restraints on Wall Street speculation

By Barry Grey, 23 May 2018

As the tenth anniversary of the September 2008 Wall Street crash approaches, the token restrictions on the banks that were passed during the Obama administration are being dismantled.

Inconclusive outcome of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 21 May 2018

The vagueness of the final, brief communiqué, left the way open for both sides to offer their own interpretations on what had been agreed.

Little room for manoeuvre in US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 May 2018

A letter signed by 32 Democrats stated that “America’s national security must not be signed away as bargaining chip in trade negotiations.”

Deals by unions to end US teacher strikes funded by regressive taxes, more budget cuts

By Nancy Hanover, 15 May 2018

The meager pay raises and funding increases in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, hailed as “victories” by the unions and their supporters, will be funded through new attacks on workers.

On eve of teachers’ protests in North Carolina and South Carolina

Profits, stock buybacks soar, but “no money” for wages or school books

By Niles Niemuth, 14 May 2018

The 500 largest corporations in the US will funnel more money into the pockets of wealthy investors than they will allocate for capital expenditures and research and development.

Detroit exits bankruptcy, but conditions remain bleak

By Helen Hayes, 9 May 2018

The federal courts and the state government are relinquishing direct control over city operations, entrusting further budget cuts and austerity measures to the administration of Democratic Mayor Mike Duggan.

Part of Trump tax bill bonanza for the wealthy

Apple hands out $102 billion to shareholders

By Patrick Martin, 3 May 2018

The iPhone and laptop maker is monetizing the Trump tax cut as a gigantic windfall for its executives and owners.

Trade talks in Beijing: China says it won’t back down to US

By Nick Beams, 3 May 2018

The conflict is over more than the trade deficit numbers, with the overriding concern of the US being China’s moves to develop its high-tech capacities.

T-Mobile and Sprint agree to $146 billion mega-merger

By Gabriel Black, 2 May 2018

The companies have presented the merger as a critical geopolitical move in the fight against China’s development of 5G.

Trump postpones steel tariffs but trade tensions increase

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2018

The European Commission said there was no basis for tariffs on “national security” grounds and it would not negotiate under threat.

US and China to hold trade talks as tariff deadline looms

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2018

Trump said there was a “very good chance of making a deal,” but if not, the US would impose “very substantial tariffs” on Chinese imports.

Rise in interest rates sparks panic on Wall Street

By Trévon Austin, 25 April 2018

A rise in working-class militancy would send the inflated share values into a precipitous decline.

US issues ultimatums to IMF on trade

By Nick Beams, 23 April 2018

Adopting the tone of an overlord, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin demanded that the IMF back Washington in its drive against what it claims are “unfair global trade practices.”

White House considers “national emergency” powers against Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 21 April 2018

Under a 1977 law, president Trump could declare a national emergency in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat” which would allow him to block transactions and even to seize assets.

IMF remains upbeat on global economy but trade conflicts sound a jarring note

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2018

The IMF chief economist said it seemed “paradoxical” that major economies were “flirting with trade war” at a time of economic expansion.

No money for teacher pay or textbooks, but…

US CEO pay, bank profits, corporate cash set new records

By Barry Grey, 18 April 2018

A series of reports released over the past week reveal that corporate America and the financial oligarchy are wallowing in record levels of wealth.

Trump to consider rejoining TPP to step up pressure on China

By Nick Beams, 14 April 2018

The apparent turnaround is motivated by two immediate considerations: the need to be seen as taking action to alleviate pressure on US farmers threatened by the China tariffs, and the search for international allies against China.

World economy in danger of being “torn apart”

By Nick Beams, 13 April 2018

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that as a result of easy financial conditions, global debt—public and private—has reached an all-time high of $164 trillion.

Report details massive growth of inequality worldwide

By Eric London, 10 April 2018

The report found that if inequality grows at its present rate, the world’s billionaires will eventually “own 100 percent of the world’s wealth.”

JPMorgan CEO threatens rate hikes to break wages movement by US workers

By Barry Grey, 7 April 2018

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned of rising wages and raised the possibility of a sharp rise in interest rates to put a brake on economic growth and drive up unemployment.

Trump steps up trade war with proposal for further tariffs on Chinese goods

By Nick Beams, 6 April 2018

The White House said the new directive was in response to the Chinese decision to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of American exports.

China imposes tariffs as trade war heats up

By Nick Beams, 3 April 2018

The Chinese moves appear to have had an impact on Wall Street, where the Dow was down by more than 450 points at end of yesterday.

The looming threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 29 March 2018

The volatility reflects the speculative character of the share market’s rise and the fears that a global trade war could puncture this bubble.

US threatens trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 23 March 2018

The Trump administration has drawn up a list of more than 1,000 products, and proposed investment bans, targeting 10 key Chinese industries.

Toys R Us announces liquidation amidst “Retail Apocalypse”

By Anthony Bertolt, 19 March 2018

The retail chain is in the process of shutting down its global operations, with the jobs of some 31,000 workers in the US alone set to be eliminated.

Senate Democrats join Republicans to gut Dodd-Frank banking regulations

By Tom Hall, 16 March 2018

The Democrats' support for the bill demonstrates that they are a party of the American financial aristocracy.

Trump vetoes takeover of Qualcomm

By Nick Beams, 15 March 2018

Trump’s intervention demonstrates that “America First” nationalism and “national security” invocations are coming to dominate his administration’s economic decisions.

US “allies” scramble for tariff exemptions

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2018

The European Union is “counting” on being exempted from the Trump tariff measures but may get short shrift.

Australian government obtains “national security” exemption from Trump’s trade war measures

By Mike Head, 10 March 2018

The government argued that retaining steel production in Australia was vital for its $200 billion military spending program.

Trump, risking trade war, signs off on steel and aluminium tariffs

By Nick Beams, 9 March 2018

Trump’s tariff announcement expresses the turn by the United States to the types of protectionist measures that characterised the 1930s Great Depression.

Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn resigns over tariff decision

By Niles Niemuth, 7 March 2018

Among those reportedly opposed to Trump’s trade war policy are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and retired Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense.

Canadian ruling elite reacts to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs

By Roger Jordan, 7 March 2018

Signaling the Canadian ruling elite’s readiness to support Washington in a trade war against China and other rivals, Ottawa is pleading for an exemption from Trump’s tariffs.

Parasitism and “tax reform”: Trump’s corporate tax cuts fuel stock buybacks, not investment

By Gabriel Black, 6 March 2018

Catalyst Capital predicts that 2018 will be the biggest stock buyback year on record, with corporations spending $1.2 trillion to push up their share values.

Trump launches trade war

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2018

In imposing a global tariff hike, rather than selective measures, Trump took the toughest option presented to him by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Fed’s concern over prospect of a wages movement jolts markets

By Nick Beams, 1 March 2018

One of the key aspects of Fed chief Powell’s question-time comments was his views on the “continuing strength in the labour market.”

The growing threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 24 February 2018

Two major initiatives by the Trump administration over the past month have ratcheted up global tensions, bringing the threat of retaliatory actions from the European Union and China.

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.