Economy

The headline announcement from the latest UK budget was that “the era of austerity is finally coming to an end”. This assurance, coming from a Conservative chancellor, is an indication of just how far the mood in society has shifted. After eight years of cuts borne by the working class, the vulnerable, and the poor, it is clear that ordinary people are no longer willing to tolerate any more hollow rhetoric that “we’re all in this together”.

According to the British chancellor, Philip Hammond, austerity is apparently over. But for the super-rich it looks like it never even began! The latest figures reveal that the international billionaire class made more money in 2017 than in any year in recorded history.

26 years ago, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the defenders of capitalism were euphoric. They spoke of the death of socialism and communism. Liberalism had triumphed and therefore history had reached its final expression in the form of capitalism. That was the moment when Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama uttered his famous (or notorious) prediction that history had ended. What he meant by this was as follows: now that socialism (in the form of the Soviet Union) had failed, the only possible socio-economic system was capitalism, or as he and others preferred to describe it: “the free market economy”.

Two weeks ago, Trump announced tariffs on another $200bn worth of imports from China. The announcement was met with protests from the Chinese, as well as big business in the US. China responded with tariffs on another $60bn of imports from the US. This trade war reveals the frictions that have been developing for some time between the imperialist powers, and threatens to plunge the world into a new recession.

In Britain, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have made a number of bold and much-welcomed pledges in order to fix the "broken economy". But what kind of economic programme should a Labour government carry out?

While all eyes are on the unfolding trade war between China and the United States, another crisis in the world economy is threatening to spin out of control. Since April, Argentina and Turkey have seen their currencies collapse and inflation spiral. Other so-called emerging economies such as Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa are also coming under similar pressures.

10 years ago, on 15 September 2008, Lehman Brothers – one of the largest and oldest investment banks in the world – filed for bankruptcy after being engulfed by the subprime mortgage scandal.

In the years following the global financial crisis of 2008, the world has seen the most widespread questioning and rejection of the capitalist system since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The intractable crisis of the world economy is making itself felt in all spheres of life, causing immense instability in politics and world relations.

Expectations for the G7 were not high, but the outcome was even worse than expected. For the first time ever, the G7 ended without a joint statement, and with Trump lashing out at Canada and the EU. The summit in North Korea, on the other hand, ended with all smiles and a joint statement promising peace, denuclearisation and security.

On Thursday the deadline passed for an agreement between Trump and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the EU on trade. Failure to reach an agreement meant that the steel and aluminium tariffs threatened by Trump came into force. With this, Trump has begun the process of unravelling globalisation. On Saturday, the G-7 finance ministers met and the 6 non-US ministers came together against the US, expressing their “unanimous concern and disappointment” over the US decision.

Since the beginning of 2018, the Argentinian peso has fallen 30 percent against the dollar, reaching 25 pesos per dollar. The severity of the crisis has forced the government to raise interest rates to 40 percent. Seeing that this didn’t help, the government has taken steps to ask the IMF for a multi-billion-dollar loan to prop up the faltering economy. Seemingly coming like lightning from a clear blue sky, what this pending disaster really reveals is the fragile state of the Argentinian and world economy.

The Conservative government in Britain is facing a perfect storm of crises. Brexit looms large over every decision and event. The question of the Irish border and the customs union has intensified the civil war inside the Tory Party. And without a majority to command in Parliament, the Prime Minister is paralysed, unable to pass any meaningful legislation.

The serious representatives of capitalism are petrified that the ongoing trade dispute between China and America could erupt into a full-blown economic war. In a recent editorial for the Financial Times, associate editor Martin Wolf described US President Donald Trump’s latest plan to reduce the $337bn US-China trade imbalance by imposing $200bn worth of tariffs on Chinese goods (over two years) as a “crazy” act of “fiscal irresponsibility”. But there is method in Trump’s madness. He is predictably applying his particular art of negotiation: threaten, bully and bluster – then strike a deal. However,

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“The Governor of the Bank of England has warned that massive job losses driven by technology could resuscitate Marxism in the West,” announced the Daily Telegraphrecently.

After placing hefty tariffs on solar panels, washing machines, steel and aluminium, Trump is now picking a fight with China. His latest proposals target $60bn worth of Chinese exports, and threaten a trade war between two of the largest economies in the world.

In the last week, US President, Donald Trump announced his intention to raise tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, threatening to start a dangerous trade war with the rest of the world. This could plunge the world economy into another deep slump.

The last two months have seen renewed worries about the economy. It was meant to be a period of optimism, with plenty of positive figures on unemployment, wage growth and so on. Yet in spite of the figures, the markets are jittery and the bourgeois is gradually realising that none of the problems that caused the crisis in 2008 have been resolved. If anything, they have become even worse.

A pesar de toda la euforia del último periodo acerca de la recuperación de la economía mundial y el crecimiento bursátil, los acontecimientos han dado un brusco giro a peor. La semana pasada, las bolsas de todo el mundo se derrumbaron.

Despite all the euphoria in the past period about the world recovery and booming stock markets, events have taken a sharp turn for the worse. Over the past week, stock markets around the world have plunged.

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