World Economy

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

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.

Germany: IG Metall union announces further attacks on Daimler workers

By K. Nesan, 10 December 2019

With the help of the unions and their works council representative, the auto manufacturer wants to destroy 10,000 jobs by 2022.

“They are jamming this down our throats:” Fiat Chrysler workers denounce UAW for rushing vote on sellout contract

By Jerry White, 10 December 2019

Just days after dumping the thousand-page contract on its web site, the UAW is holding a series of snap votes which it plans to conclude by Wednesday.

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.”

Australian bank chief resigns over money laundering charges

By Mike Head, 30 November 2019

This latest scandal does not directly involve cheating customers, but centres on allegations of evading official transaction-tracking measures.

A socialist response to the global jobs massacre in the auto industry

By Peter Schwarz, 29 November 2019

The announcement of 9,500 job cuts by the German automaker Audi is part of a global offensive against the jobs and living standards of autoworkers all over the world.

Renewed surge in US mergers

By Nick Beams, 28 November 2019

Last Monday alone, takeover deals amounting to more than $70 billion were announced as multinational firms sought to tighten their grip on the markets in which they operate.

German autoworkers protest as unions sanction wave of jobs cuts

By K. Nesan, 28 November 2019

Hardly a day passes without a large or small company announcing redundancies and savings measures in highly industrialize state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany.

UAW keeps FCA workers in the dark on contract talks, painting corruption exposures as “outside distractions”

By Marcus Day, 28 November 2019

In a letter to FCA workers Monday, UAW-FCA Vice President Cindy Estrada attempted to pretend as if the corruption scandal had no bearing on otherwise pristine negotiations.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union endorses ex-Hoffa lieutenant for union president

By Steve Filips and Tom Hall, 28 November 2019

TDU’s 180-degree turn behind the thuggish Sean O’Brien exposes the critical role it plays in propping up the authority the Teamsters bureaucracy.

After union surrenders, Telangana mobilizes police to bar “fired” TSRTC workers’ return

By Kranti Kumara, 28 November 2019

The unions instructed the 48,000 TSRTC workers to end their courageous anti-privatization strike and report for work Tuesday. But the government, intent on purging the workforce, barred their way.

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.

Australian Strategic Forum tries to downplay danger of US-China conflict

By James Cogan, 21 November 2019

Warnings that US-China tensions could lead to war were largely dismissed by the majority of the forum speakers.

Fiat Chrysler workers face battle as FCA and UAW seek to maintain lowest labor costs

By Jerry White, 18 November 2019

After barely navigating past the opposition of GM and Ford workers, the UAW is now colluding with Fiat Chrysler executives to maintain the company’s cost advantage over its industry rivals.

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.”

Chicago Ford workers denounce UAW contract: “They want to monitor you every minute, every second”

By Marcus Day, 11 November 2019

Anger is growing since workers have learned that the deal would allow Ford to deploy the high-tech surveillance methods increasingly perfected by Amazon.

Trump rules out rollback of China tariffs

By Nick Beams, 11 November 2019

Trump’s remarks were in response to a statement by Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng that the two sides had agreed to reduce tariffs on each other’s goods as part of any agreement.

China-led trade bloc inches forward at Asian summit

By Mike Head, 11 November 2019

The formation of the RCEP would be a blow to Washington and its drive to isolate, militarily encircle and subjugate China.

Steel layoffs in US mount due to falling production and trade war

By Samuel Davidson, 11 November 2019

Growing layoffs at US Steel and other major US steel producers over the past three months, point to a further slowdown in manufacturing and the impact of Trump’s trade war.

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.

Ford autoworkers denounce tentative deal as corruption scandal engulfs UAW leadership

By Marcus Day, 4 November 2019

The UAW-Ford deal allows for an unlimited number of buyouts of older production workers, facilitating a vast expansion of lower-paid temporary workers.

Protests erupt after Peruvian government approves controversial Tía María mining project

By Cesar Uco, 4 November 2019

Peasant farmers have blocked roads and confronted police after Peru’s government approved construction of the mine, which will harm the fragile ecosystem of the Tambo Valley in the southern Andes.

Unifor’s attempt to impose concessions contracts on Saskatchewan workers meeting widespread opposition

By Carl Bronski, 4 November 2019

On learning that Unifor had accepted a two-year wage freeze in order to scuttle a 17-day strike, Saskatchewan Crown corporation workers denounced the union leadership from the floor of ratification meetings.

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.

Euro area heads for slump as Draghi steps down as central bank chief

By Nick Beams, 26 October 2019

The eurozone economy grew by only 0.1 percent in the September quarter.

Recriminations within Brazilian ruling classes over Trump’s OECD snub

By Miguel Andrade, 24 October 2019

Contrary to expectations, the US State Department didn’t propose Brazil for OECD membership, triggering a wave of criticism of Bolsonaro for the diplomatic failure.

Major write down of Australian growth forecast as global contradictions intensify

By Nick Beams, 23 October 2019

In just 12 months, the International Monetary Fund has cut its Australian growth prediction for 2019 from 2.8 percent to 1.7 percent.

World economy “sleepwalking” to another financial crisis, warns former Bank of England chief

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2019

Mervyn King said the US would suffer a “financial Armageddon” if the Federal Reserve were not able to combat another crisis, with the world in a low growth trap.

As global economy enters synchronised slowdown

US Federal Reserve starts “quantitative easing forever”

By Nick Beams, 19 October 2019

The entire global financial system has become so dependent upon and addicted to the endless supply of ultracheap money that even the slightest move to reduce it threatens to set off a crisis.

IMF cuts growth forecast and points to rising financial risks

By Nick Beams, 17 October 2019

Significantly, the World Economic Outlook report predicted that growth in four key areas of the global economy—the US, the eurozone, Japan and China—would remain subdued for the next five years.

IMF meeting confronts “synchronized” global economic slowdown

By Nick Beams, 15 October 2019

Two years ago the global economy was experiencing an upswing with growth in nearly 75 percent of the world economy, but today lower growth is expected in 90 percent of the world.

Mack Truck, copper miners, Chicago teachers, gig economy workers

Spreading strike wave shows potential for GM workers to expand struggle to Ford and Fiat-Chrysler

By Jerry White, 14 October 2019

If the month-long strike is to be won, autoworkers must take the fight into their own hands, end the isolation imposed by the UAW, and fight for an industry-wide shutdown.

“It’s like the UAW is management:” GM strikers speak out as union moves towards sellout

By Tom Hall, 14 October 2019

Reporting teams for the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter spoke to striking GM workers throughout Southeast Michigan over the weekend, as news emerged that the UAW is preparing to move towards a tentative agreement to shut down the four-week strike and enforce concessions.

As GM strike enters fifth week, Mack Truck-Volvo workers launch first strike in more than 35 years

By Nick Barrickman, 14 October 2019

The two American automotive strikes are part of an international movement of the working class against austerity, including 70,000 auto parts workers in Mexico and rolling strikes at GM’s South Korean plants.

Conflict erupts over European Central Bank’s return to “quantitative easing”

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2019

According to initial reports of the September meeting, as many as nine members of the 25-member governing council opposed the ECB's decision to return to “quantitative easing.”

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.

Little prospect of agreement as US-China trade talks set to resume

By Nick Beams, 8 October 2019

China is reported to be opposed to any all-encompassing deal on trade and changes to its economic programs along the lines being demanded by the US.

As strike enters fourth week, UAW says talks with GM have “taken turn for the worse”

By Jerry White, 7 October 2019

The hard line by GM proves that the UAW is leading the strike to defeat and makes clear that workers must respond by expanding the struggle to Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

“Capitalism is the core of the problem:” Striking GM workers call for global struggle against auto companies

By Tim Rivers and Tom Hall, 7 October 2019

GM workers on the picket discussed the need for an international strategy for the expansion of their strike with the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter this weekend.

Canada: Five thousand public sector workers strike in Saskatchewan

By Carl Bronski, 7 October 2019

The strike, involving workers at SaskPower, SaskTel, SaskWater, SaskEnergy, the Water Security Agency and two SaskTel subsidiaries, is the largest in Saskatchewan for decades.

Bone-crushing labor prevails across the American meatpacking industry

By Brian Brown, 7 October 2019

While the meatpacking industry has historically been a dirty and dangerous occupation, taking workers lives and limbs, a dangerous job will become a lot worse with the Trump administration pushing further de-regulation.

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.

Australian central bank cuts interest rates to record low

By Mike Head, 3 October 2019

The speed and scale of the rate cuts point to alarm within the financial elite about the turmoil gripping the world capitalist economy and deepening slump in Australia.

Democrats frame impeachment drive as defense of “national security”

By Patrick Martin, 30 September 2019

There is not the slightest democratic content to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“The UAW is allowing GM to take us back to before the sit-down strikes”

Striking GM workers on picket line discuss what is at stake in their battle

By our reporters, 30 September 2019

GM workers discussed their fight to overturn decades of UAW-backed concessions, end the exploitation of temporary workers, and support the victimized Mexican GM workers.

Wall Street gives GM and UAW time to wear down strikers and impose concessions

By Tom Hall, 30 September 2019

Investors are giving GM and the UAW the time they need to wear down strikers and enforce a defeat that would shape the future of global auto industry.

As US GM strike continues

Layoffs mount in Canadian auto industry

By Carl Bronski, 30 September 2019

Over 6,000 Canadian auto assembly and parts workers have been temporarily laid off as a result of the ongoing strike by 48,000 American UAW members against GM.

Tesla autoworkers in California support striking GM workers, denounce working conditions

By Evan Blake, 30 September 2019

The rise of Tesla is part of a global restructuring of the auto industry to prepare for the production of electronic vehicles, using fewer and more poorly paid workers.

French ex-President Jacques Chirac dead at 86

By Alex Lantier, 30 September 2019

The ubiquitous hailing of Chirac by the ruling establishment reflects above all the former Gaullist president’s ability to appeal to the political and class prejudices of the affluent middle class.

Daimler-Benz workers in Germany support GM strikers

By Gregor Link and K. Nesan, 23 September 2019

German autoworkers in the city of Stuttgart support the strike of their American counterparts, against the auto companies and the union, as a model for their own upcoming struggles.

Jeff Pietrzyk, former aide to UAW vice president Joe Ashton, charged with criminal conspiracy

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 September 2019

Pietrzyk sat on the 2011 UAW-GM National Negotiating Committee, which pushed through a miserable sellout contract that maintained a pay freeze and the hated two-tier system.

The GM strike is in danger

By Marcus Day, 23 September 2019

While the weeklong strike by General Motors workers in the US has won the support of workers throughout the world, the UAW is working out a strategy to strangle it as quickly as possible.

Labor Notes, DSA line up with UAW bureaucrats against GM strikers

By Shannon Jones and Barry Grey, 23 September 2019

In the face of the UAW’s strategy of isolating and betraying the powerful strike by US General Motors workers, middle-class “left” groups like Labor Notes and the Democratic Socialists of America are working to keep strikers chained to the union apparatus.

Autoworkers at GM, Fiat Chrysler and Ford react to UAW’s starvation strike pay

By Tom Hall, 20 September 2019

Yesterday’s article detailing how the union has used the strike fund as a slush fund for UAW officials elicited a strong response from autoworkers.

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.

Video: GM workers speak out on strike

By our reporters, 16 September 2019

GM workers from the Flint Assembly and Romulus Engine plant spoke to the World Socialist Web Site on the issues behind the walkout of 46,000 GM workers.

“The rank and file have to take control!”

Ford, Fiat-Chrysler workers call for all-out strike alongside GM workers

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 September 2019

Workers are demanding an all-out fight against the companies and the corrupt UAW, which only called a strike after forcing GM workers to cross picket lines against striking janitors.

“The rank and file have to take control!”

Ford, Fiat-Chrysler workers call for all-out strike alongside GM workers

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 September 2019

Workers are demanding an all-out fight against the companies and the corrupt UAW, which only called a strike after forcing GM workers to cross picket lines against striking janitors.

Germany: IG Metall union concludes pact with corporate bosses and government against workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 16 September 2019

The union is offering to cooperate in “structural changes” that will boost the profits of the auto companies.

Two years on, Foxconn’s Wisconsin boondoggle continues under Democrats

By Jacob Crosse, 16 September 2019

With the aid of state and local government officials, the Foxconn swindle rolls on even as job expectations fell short for the second year in a row.

US autoworkers shut down General Motors

By The WSWS Editorial Board, 16 September 2019

The strike by 46,000 GM auto workers marks a major escalation of class struggle in the United States and internationally.

The Brexit crisis and the struggle for the unity and political independence of the working class

By Thomas Scripps, 16 September 2019

The authoritarian turn represented by Johnson’s prorogation of parliament is the most advanced expression of the breakdown of the traditional mechanisms of parliamentary rule.

Countdown to contract fight: In final week before contract expires, autoworkers gear up for struggle against companies and UAW

By Tom Hall, 9 September 2019

A ferment is taking hold among autoworkers, who are determined to win back everything that has been taken from them.

Hurricane Dorian: Tens of thousands homeless in the Bahamas as damage assessed on Canadian coast

By Nick Barrickman, 9 September 2019

Post-tropical storm Dorian continues to destroy homes and livelihoods along Canada’s Atlantic coast as a humanitarian disaster intensifies in the Bahamas.

The issues raised by climate change in the wake of Hurricane Dorian

By Bryan Dyne, 9 September 2019

The destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian further supports the prediction that global warming will cause more destructive tropical storms.

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.

Standard & Poor’s claims Argentina has “defaulted” on its debt

By Andrea Lobo, 31 August 2019

An Argentine banker cited by the Financial Times said they were recalling the strikes, riots and bank runs during the last default in 2001 and were "very afraid of what’s going on.”

Tongan government threatens to block access to Facebook

By Tom Peters, 27 August 2019

The threat to ban Facebook follows intense criticism on social media of Tonga’s royal family, and growing popular anger over social inequality.

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.”

Divisions between major powers widen at G7 summit

By Nick Beams, 26 August 2019

The G7 meeting held in France over the weekend marks another stage in the breakdown of the post-war capitalist order.

Trump escalates economic confrontation with China

By Andre Damon, 24 August 2019

Trump’s “order” for American companies to leave China marks a milestone in the global descent into economic nationalism and preparations for military conflict.

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.

Markets await key speech by US Fed chair

By Nick Beams, 22 August 2019

Powell’s speech will be scoured for what it indicates about the future policy of the US Federal Reserve in conditions of growing financial turbulence and a slowing world economy.

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.

Japan-South Korea conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 17 August 2019

South Korea announced this week that it has removed Japan from a list of countries that qualify for accelerated supply of South Korean products, after Japan had imposed a similar measure against South Korea on August 2.

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.

Concerns grow over global financial stability

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2019

There is now a historically unprecedented situation in bond markets where it is estimated that some $15 trillion worth of government bonds are trading at negative yields, meaning an investor who purchased the bond and held it to maturity would make a loss.

Establishment figures welcome renewed anti-China hysteria in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 August 2019

The ruling elite requires Australia’s incorporation into US war preparations to be accompanied by slandering any public opposition as the product of “Chinese interference.”

Costa Rican public health workers strike against tax changes, privatization plans

Workers Struggles: The Americas

13 August 2019

Thousands of hospital and clinic workers across Costa Rica carried out a two-day strike last week to protest a tax reform bill that has imposed additional burdens on workers and led to underfunding of services.

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.

UN: Global food and water crisis threatens 3 billion people

By Bryan Dyne, 9 August 2019

A new report by the United Nations warns that anthropogenic climate change, if left unchecked, will render a steadily increasing portion of Earth essentially uninhabitable.

As German industrial production records “devastating” fall

Bond markets point to global recession

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2019

The signs of a global slowdown, if not an outright recession, are most evident in Germany and the Asia-Pacific region, where three central banks cuts their interest rates yesterday.

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.

Layoffs in global auto industry hit Mexico, India, China and the US

By Jerry White, 7 August 2019

Global automakers are destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs as sales fall and a brutal competition unfolds to dominate the market for electric vehicles and other new technologies.

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.

“GM has made all of these profits and we’re getting shafted”

Autoworkers speak out as GM Warren Transmission plant closes after 78 years of operation

By our reporters, 2 August 2019

The closure of the facility, which once employed upwards of 4,000, is the latest economic blow to workers in the Detroit area, once the center of global auto manufacturing.

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.

Slump deepens in Australian residential construction industry

By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 2 August 2019

Multiple faults in new apartment buildings have become a factor in the bursting of a debt-fuelled property bubble that is threatening thousands of jobs.

Indian protest marks seven years of legal vendetta against jailed Maruti Suzuki workers

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 31 July 2019

The sole “crime” of the 13 jailed auto workers was to challenge the poverty-wages and repressive sweatshop conditions at Maruti Suzuki.

Jacksonville Electrical Authority board of directors approves privatization effort

By Matthew Taylor, 31 July 2019

Last Tuesday’s vote represents the latest effort in a years-long conspiracy by Mayor Lenny Curry and his backers to sell off the Florida city’s utility to private interests.