Economic Crisis

Economic crisis opens the door to massive struggle

The material conditions experienced by workers are the basis for the development of their struggles. The crisis of capitalism leads to attacks on the working class that in turn can lead to a militant response. How far workers' struggles go, how combative they become, what sense they have of their own potential cannot be tied down in a scientific formula.

Hunger, war, ecological disaster: The only hope is revolution

How ever you look at it, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the present system of social economic organisation - capitalism - is breaking down all over the planet. The longer it goes on the more it poses the real danger of engulfing society in an apocalypse of starvation, war and ecological catastrophe.

Rising Inflation, Falling Production: In the Midst of a Global Economic Crisis

Since the collapse of the housing bubble at the beginning of 2007 economists and government representatives have been betting on the odds of a recession in the US economy. Currently we are mid-way through 2008 and still the ‘experts' have not made up their minds about its likelihood. Meanwhile the signs of crisis are everywhere...

Capitalist Economy: Is there a way out of the crisis? (part 2)

In the first part of this article (see WR 315 and the ICC website), we tried to understand what the current economic crisis represents. We saw that it was only a particularly serious episode in the long agony of decadent capitalism. We showed that, in order to survive, capitalism has had to resort to a kind of drug: debt to capitalism is what heroin is to an addict.

Capitalist Economy: Is there a way out of the crisis? (part 1)

Since August 2007, with the collapse of the ‘sub-prime' loans, we have seen further convulsions in the world capitalist economy. Bad news is followed by worse news: rates of inflation are spiralling (in the USA, 2007 was the worst year since 1990); unemployment is rising; the banks have announced billion dollar losses, the stock exchanges have gone down and down; the indicators for growth in 2008 have been revised downwards several times....

Editorial: The United States - locomotive of the world economy... toward the abyss

Times are hard for the world economy! Not only has it still to get over last year’s sub-prime crisis in the US housing market, the overall situation of the capitalist economy has never seemed so dangerous since the late 1960s: despite all the efforts of the ruling class to fend it off, the crisis is back with a vengeance.

Financial Turmoil: A Worsening Economic Crisis

On February 28th, even though he acknowledged the risk of an economic slowdown, President George W. Bush declared, "I don't think we're headed for a recession...I believe that our economy has got the fundamentals in place for us...to grow and continue growing, more robustly than we're growing now. So we're still for a strong dollar."

Financial storms, inflation, redundancies: It’s a crisis of the whole system

Immediately after the US Federal Reserve pushed JP Morgan Chase into an emergency salvage plan for Bear Stearns, Gordon Brown felt it necessary to reassure people in Britain with an article in the Sun (19/3/8). The Prime Minister wrote that "When a major bank in America has to be rescued over a weekend and billions are wiped off share markets across the world, I understand that people are worried about the future."

Northern Rock: The inevitable state intervention

When the announcement to formally nationalise Northern Rock was finally made there was a burst of optimism... It is not, certainly, a question of the Labour party ‘going back to 1970s socialism' since the Labour government is a government of the capitalist state and nationalisations are part of the defence of the national capital in the face of the economic crisis.

Credit crunch means workers’ living standards are under attack worldwide

With the ‘sub-prime' credit crunch, the world economic recession stands out clearly. Throughout the world hundreds of thousands of workers have been simultaneously and brutally hit by the economic crisis. Among the first victims are the families evicted from their homes because they cannot pay their debts or have lost their jobs.

Towards a violent acceleration of the economic crisis

In mid-January, there were violent storms in all the major stock markets of the world, from the USA to Europe and Asia. In the space of a single day, values fell by between 4 and 7%. The press has talked excitedly about the most spectacular losses since September 11 2001; about growing fears of a recession in the US with its grim effects on world trade; about the Federal Reserve's drastic cut in interest rates, the biggest for 25 years.

Inflation meets recession

Everywhere you look, prices are going up! The prices of the energy suppliers have jumped up and so heating bills and travelling to and from work have become more expensive. There are big increases in the prices of essential foods, like bread and milk, and shoppers are getting a lot less for their money in their weekly supermarket shopping. And while prices keep going up.... wages don't.

The Economic Crisis Deepens - The Worst is Still to Come

As 2007 come to a close the American bourgeoisie was not in a party mood and rightly so,  because there wasn't much to celebrate for American capitalism. By all accounts 2007 has been a horrendous year for the US economy. It opened with the bursting of the real estate bubble, then in the summer came the bust of the financial sector, a series of mini-crashes of the stock market, and the drastic devaluation of the dollar.

Underneath the housing crisis, the crisis of the capitalist economy

At the time of writing, the huckster Richard Branson has made some sort of a bid for the bankrupt Northern Rock bank and despite the massive state intervention (estimated by some to eventually total some forty billion pounds) by the Bank of England, it is still not out of the woods. In fact if, as expected, house prices fall further, Northern Rock could be facing even bigger crises.

The Fundamental Contradictions Behind the Stock-market Jitters

The recent stock exchanges convulsions (see article on front page) pose the following question: whether the approaching open recession, which everyone agrees is likely, is part of the inevitable up and down pattern of the capitalist economy which is fundamentally sound, or whether it is a sign of a process of inner disintegration and breakdown, integral to capitalism, that will be punctuated by more and more violent convulsions.

From the crisis of liquidity to the liquidation of capitalism!

Over the summer of 2007, capitalism confirmed its tendency to sink into ever more frequent catastrophes: the quagmire of imperialist war as exemplified by the civilian bloodbath in Iraq; the devastation of climate change induced by the rampant profit motive; and a further lurch into economic crisis promising the greater impoverishment of the mass of the world's population.

Economic crisis: It won’t be over by Christmas

‘Everything is going well - it's not serious'. ‘There's no need to be disturbed'. These are the lying and hypocritical speeches of the bourgeoisie. In the last months, when the new phase of the acceleration of the world economic crisis of capitalism broke out, the so-called ‘sub-prime crisis', the bourgeoisie wanted at all costs to reassure us with ideological mystifications.

The limits of state capitalism

The recent financial turmoil and the shocks to the British banking system, notably the run on the Northern Rock bank (described by Richard Lambert, the CBI chief, as "almost unimaginable" and akin to what one expects "in a banana republic"), underlines a far more profound problem for capitalism than defaulting mortgage payments in Florida. 1866 saw the last run on a British bank.

The fundamental contradictions behind the stockmarket jitters

The recent stock exchanges convulsions (see article on front page) pose the following question: whether the approaching open recession, which everyone agrees is likely, is part of the inevitable up and down pattern of the capitalist economy which is fundamentally sound, or whether it is a sign of a process of inner disintegration and breakdown, integral to capitalism, that will be punctuated by more and more violent convulsions.

Workers respond to the world-wide crisis

During the summer there was no break for the class struggle. In Britain, strikes by postal workers, on the London underground and in the public sector expressed a growing discontent within the working class. In the post office 50,000 jobs have gone in recent years and now another 40,000 are threatened. On the tube, following the collapse of Metronet, there are threats to both jobs and conditions. These are the reasons workers struggle: to fight against attacks on their working and living conditions.

Stock market fall: World economy on the edge

The tremors of 27/2 may not mean an imminent global recession. But they do indeed give us a glimpse of the real underlying state of the world economy. For years now, we have been told that the American economy is sound, strong, a locomotive for the world. What we haven’t been told is that this ‘recovery’ after the recessions of the 80s has been based on a growing mountain of debt. In other words, the US (and global) economy is actually bankrupt, sunk in a deep crisis of overproduction, but keeps going anyway by creating a vast artificial market, supplemented by creating a casino economy where people are involved in all kinds of artificial jobs...

Everywhere the bourgeoisie is hammering the working class

According to the bourgeoisie, the working class should be happy. Not a day goes past without its newspapers, journals, TV and radio telling us about the current health of the economy. To do this it gives us figures for growth. At the level of the world economy these increased by 3.2% in 2005, after having registered 4% in 2004 and less than 2.6% in 2003. It calmly forecasts a growth above 3.3% for the year 2006. This class of exploiters hides reality from itself. But above all, it brazenly lies to the working class.

Imperialism Sends the Price of Oil Through the Roof

As the Memorial Day weekend neared the price of gas at the pump in New York State skyrocketed to $3.21 per gallon for regular. In the past year crude oil has risen 33 percent. The Bush administration and the mass media claim the cause is the law of supply and demand. According to them the industrialized countries are “addicted” to oil and, particularly in the U.S., as the summer vacation period approaches, demand is going up. Add to this the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina on oil production and the refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, and the burgeoning energy needs of the booming economies of India and China and fears of political instability in the Middle East, particularly because of the continuing war in Iraq, where oil production has not returned to pre-war levels, and a possible military confrontation over Iranian nuclear ambitions, and terrorist attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria, and  the result, according to the bourgeoisie, is a classic situation in which demand far outstrips current oil supplies.

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