Economy

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.

Earlier this month, Oxfam published the latest statistics on wealth inequality. They reveal that the slogan of “we are the 99 percent” really is true. The richest 1 percent globally own more than the rest of us put together. 42 billionaires own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who form the poorest half of the world's population.

This article, written for Socialist Appeal, was published a matter of days before Bitcoin's value collapsed by half overnight. This catastrophic downturn proves everything we have written about Bitcoin and how it reflects of the general crisis of capitalism.

The news of heavy fraud and corruption in two of South Africa’s biggest monopolies has thrown the big capitalists into turmoil. The scandals, which broke out almost simultaneously, involve two global behemoths, Naspers and Steinhof, and implicate some of the very biggest tycoons in the country, such as Christo Wiese, Markus Jooste and Koos Bekker.

British capitalism is clearly in a parlous state. The miserable spurt of growth of a few years ago has completely run out of steam, leaving the UK in a disastrous position. All the economic forecasts from the top institutions for the coming period have been downgraded from those of a year ago.

The lack of any major announcements in this year’s budget, delivered on 22 November by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, reflects the insoluble web of contradictions that now entangles the Tory government.

Rob Sewell looks at the damning condemnations against the capitalist system being uttered by none other than the capitalists themselves. By examining the ominous warnings of the Financial Times - a key bourgeois mouthpiece - Rob explains that even the capitalists see the writing on the wall...

Just when Theresa May and the Tories would have been hoping for some respite after a dismal conference period, the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) has sent a shockwave through British political and business circles. In its annual “Forecast Evaluation Report” (FER), published this month, the OBR downgraded the UK’s economic outlook, having revealed that both GDP and productivity growth had consistently fallen short of OBR predictions over the last two years.

A recent study on tax evasion and inequality carried out by a group of Scandinavian economic researchers reveals just how big a part of the upper 0.01%’s fortunes is hidden in foreign bank accounts. On this basis, the study finds that inequality is probably far higher than originally assumed. This clearly shows how the capitalist system has reached a dead end. These contradictions can only be solved through socialist revolution.

 "Today, in numerous areas, from automation to green energy to information technology, we are seeing a validation of Marx's assertion: that society's productive forces at a certain stage come into conflict with the way in which society is organised. These "economic singularities", as Adam Booth discusses, demonstrate clearly that the system has broken."