European Economy

Far-right nationalist groups march in Kiev

By Jason Melanovski, 23 October 2017

Recent rallies in Ukraine’s capital point to a growing crisis of the Poroshenko regime.

IMF report points to financial dangers lurking beneath global growth

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2017

Central banks confront an acute contradiction: attempts to normalise monetary policy may trigger a financial crisis, but continuing the flow of easy money is creating unsustainable debt levels.

Outgoing German finance minister warns of financial bubbles

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2017

Schäuble said he had “no idea when the next crisis will happen” but economists all over the world were concerned about the rise of liquidity and debt.

Bank for International Settlements voices concern over finance markets

By Nick Beams, 19 September 2017

The BIS has warned that the slow pace in normalising central bank interest rates and ending quantitative easing is setting up financial markets for a shock when interest rates do rise.

ECB makes first move to wind back quantitative easing

By Nick Beams, 9 September 2017

The class agenda of the ECB emerged when president Mario Draghi called for the further elimination of job protection as he backed reforms by the Macron presidency in France.

Massive fire in Rostov, Russia destroys 123 houses

By Clara Weiss, 29 August 2017

Residents said they believe the fire was allowed to burn out of control with the aim of driving out impoverished residents in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Conservative government review of UK “gig economy”—a whitewash for the corporations

By Thomas Scripps, 28 August 2017

The report’s bias in favour of employers is not an oversight, as the political establishment that Matthew Taylor speaks for has no intention of bringing “precarious employment” under control.

ECB offers reassurance to anxious financial markets

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2017

ECB president Mario Draghi said there were indications of economic growth but this was yet to translate into underlying inflation dynamics.

Transatlantic tensions dominate G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 10 July 2017

Despite cobbling together a unanimous resolution, the G20 summit was, by any measure, the most fractious meeting of major political leaders in the post-war period.

Barclays PLC charged with fraud by UK Serious Fraud Office

By Jean Shaoul, 1 July 2017

The prosecution has nothing to do with the criminal and reckless banking behaviour that precipitated the crash, but instead relates to Barclays’ rescue

European Central Bank still failing to meet inflation objective

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2017

Structural changes in the European economy mean low wages along with part-time and casual employment are becoming the “new normal.”

Royal Bank of Scotland seeks to avoid High Court action by shareholders

By Jean Shaoul, 27 May 2017

Former senior RBS executives have never had to make a public account of the events leading up to the bank’s collapse in 2008, when it was rescued by then Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Alitalia bankruptcy exacerbates social tensions in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 5 May 2017

In a recent vote two-thirds of Alitalia pilots, flight attendants and ground crew rejected planned job cuts and pay cuts.

May Day 2017

The rise of economic nationalism and protectionism

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2017

The historic crisis of the global capitalist system is now producing the very conditions that led to the economic conflicts of the 1930s and the eruption of war in 1939.

European Central Bank maintains a balancing act

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2017

The ECB retained its negative base interest rate, placing it on a divergent path from the US Federal Reserve.

UK think tank warns of fall in economic growth and rising inequality

By Margot Miller, 16 February 2017

Planned changes to the tax and benefit system mean that the poorest 10 percent in society will be 3.1 percent worse off, which translates into a loss of £314 a year.

New report documents extreme poverty in Poland

By Clara Weiss, 11 January 2017

The report reveals the miserable living conditions facing broad sections of the working class and the peasant population who lack access to basic elements of civilization.

Brexit seized on by Scottish government to mount new power grab

By Steve James, 28 December 2016

The Scottish National Party government are hoping to directly benefit from the Brexit debacle by laying claim to additional powers for the Scottish parliament.

Monte Paschi bank will seek Italian state bailout

By Alex Lantier and Marianne Arens, 23 December 2016

As Europe slides ever deeper into slump, tens of billions of euros are to be handed to the financial aristocracy in a bailout that only sets the stage for more social attacks.

Irish government defends tax dodging by Apple

By Chris Marsden, 21 December 2016

The Fine Gael government opposes demands by the European Union that the American technology giant pay $13 billion in back taxes.

Germany’s low-wage sector is expanding

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 20 December 2016

More than one in five Germans work for a wage of less than €10 per hour.

Finnish government prepares new attacks on working class

By Ennis Wynne, 20 December 2016

The attack on the living standards of the working class is set to intensify due to Finland’s escalating economic crisis.

Berlin’s Humboldt University plans massive job cuts

By Katerina Selin, 19 December 2016

The latest developments at Humboldt University are linked to the drastic austerity policy of the Berlin Senate regarding higher education.

Bank of England governor warns of the “spectre of communism”

By Richard Tyler, 12 December 2016

Mark Carney compared the crisis today with the period of revolutionary upheavals that swept across Europe in 1848.

European Central Bank rejects request by Italy for more time to rescue ailing lender

By Nick Beams, 10 December 2016

The move increases the odds of a government bailout that would impose major losses on small investors and bondholders.

European Central Bank cuts asset purchases but insists “quantitative easing” continues

By Nick Beams, 9 December 2016

President Mario Draghi emphasised that “uncertainty prevails everywhere” and it was very difficult to assess the long-term impact of the “radically new administration” in the US.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi officially resigns

By Marianne Arens, 8 December 2016

Italy’s Senate voted in favour of the budget and thus cleared the way for Renzi’s resignation.

European Union finance ministers insist on more austerity

By Julie Hyland, 7 December 2016

Following seven years of austerity, the EU insists that Athens impose an extra €4.2 billion in austerity savings and further labour reforms, including abolishing collective bargaining.

"No" vote in Italian referendum could spark banking crisis

By Nick Beams, 29 November 2016

Finance capital sees the referendum as a test of whether Prime Minister Renzi can push though “market restructuring” of the banking system and deepen attacks on the working class.

Poverty on the rise in Europe

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 29 November 2016

According to the latest study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, 118 million people live in poverty in the EU. This equates to one in four EU citizens.

Growing concerns in Europe over Trump agenda

By Nick Beams, 26 November 2016

The European Central Bank has warned of increased financial turbulence as a result of the rise in interest rates and the trade policies of a Trump administration.

UK government Autumn Statement: Economic crisis accelerates after Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 24 November 2016

Workers whose living standards have already been devastated face more years of brutal austerity.

European Central Bank “obfuscation” likely to fuel market volatility

By Nick Beams, 21 October 2016

The decision by the ECB not to indicate the future of its bond-buying program reflects deep divisions inside the central bank with growing opposition from Germany.

British pound plummets over “hard Brexit” fears

By Nick Beams, 8 October 2016

The currency’s sudden fall on Friday was a warning that capital inflows needed to finance the British current account deficit could dry up.

Deutsche Bank and the global financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 1 October 2016

The contradiction between booming financial markets and intractable slump in the underlying economy is assuming an ever more explosive form.

Crisis at Germany’s Deutsche Bank intensifies

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 September 2016

Following the plunge in Deutsche Bank’s share price to its lowest level since 1983, Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, has announced a major restructuring.

Slowdown in growth of trade highlights global economic stagnation

By Nick Beams, 29 September 2016

Both the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund warned of an increase in protectionist measures alongside a fall in the rate of world trade growth.

Deutsche Bank plunge sparks talk of “Lehman moment”

By Nick Beams, 27 September 2016

The turmoil surrounding Deutsche Bank is only the sharpest expression of a crisis gripping the whole of the European banking system.

ECB signals more austerity amid mounting economic divisions in Europe

By Alex Lantier, 23 September 2016

Despite a deepening economic slump, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi signaled continued austerity against workers and handouts to the banks.

The 2008 crisis and the lessons of history

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2016

The ensuing eight years have shown that the financial crisis of 2008 was not a conjunctural downturn but a breakdown in the very foundations of the global capitalist economy.

ECB keeps monetary policy on hold as tensions grow

By Nick Beams, 9 September 2016

The European Central Bank has kept its monetary policy on hold but there are growing concerns about what it can do as deflationary pressures continue.

Spanish economic recovery through savaging workers’ living standards

By James Lerner, 9 September 2016

Millions have been plunged into poverty as the wealth of the elite has soared.

Fears of rising social opposition hung over G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 6 September 2016

At the conclusion of the summit, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde also addressed these issues warning that economic growth had been “too low for too long for too few.”

IMF issues warning on global growth to G20 summit

By Nick Beams, 2 September 2016

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has said the world economy could suffer from “disappointing growth for a long time to come.”

Growing perplexity as central bankers confront permanent stagnation

By Nick Beams, 30 August 2016

With the business cycle set to enter a “dangerous” phase, central bankers are concerned that interest rates are already so low they will not be able to counter any economic downturn.

Bank of England announces record rate cut in windfall for financial markets

By Barry Grey, 5 August 2016

The rate cut, together with other measures announced by the bank, will pump 170 billion pounds ($223 billion) into the UK’s financial markets.

Manufacturing slows in Europe and Japan

By our reporter, 2 August 2016

The continued slump in the real economy is in marked contrast to the ongoing and ultimately unsustainable speculative frenzy on international share markets.

Slowdown in US, global economy

By Tom Eley, 1 August 2016

Second-quarter gross domestic product figures for the US and Europe show a further slowing in economic growth and business investment.

Growing opposition in Berlin to exorbitant rents and evictions

By Verena Nees, 1 August 2016

The city is increasingly divided: discernible poverty and a growing housing crisis for many families—wealth and success for a super-rich glitterati.

IMF chief points to war danger

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2016

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde warned against the dangers posed by the prospect of a “wave of protectionism.”

Signs of post-Brexit financial crisis mount

By Nick Beams, 7 July 2016

The suspension of cash redemptions by six property investment firms in Britain could set off a crisis extending to the banking system.

Syriza government cuts pensions and privatises state property in Greece

By Katerina Selin, 6 July 2016

While the Syriza government is throwing pensioners into even more dire poverty, they are also selling off state property to foreign investors.

Brexit financial fallout widens

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2016

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned of “economic post-traumatic stress” hitting financial markets, businesses and households.

Brexit vote highlights deepening crisis in global economy

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2016

The Brexit outcome has revealed acute problems in the “quantitative easing” program that the world’s major central banks have used to sustain the global financial system over the past eight years.

Financial market turmoil continues in wake of Brexit vote

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2016

British government leaders have issued statements claiming they have the situation under control, but to no avail as financial markets continue to plummet.

On eve of Brexit referendum, mounting warnings of global trade war

By Andre Damon, 22 June 2016

The World Trade Organization warned that protectionist measures by leading economies has hit the highest level on records dating back to 2009.

Greece’s Syriza government presses ahead with privatisations

By Katerina Selin, 17 June 2016

The Syriza-led government, elected on a wave of opposition to austerity, is presiding over a sweeping sell-off of state assets for the benefit of the Greek and European financial elites.

The financial skulduggery behind the collapse of UK retailer BHS

By Jean Shaoul, 14 June 2016

While the press have called the revelations “extraordinary” and “shocking,” implying that the events behind the collapse of BHS are a “one-off,” these corporate practices are the norm.

Bond yields fall as fears rise over global economic growth

By Nick Beams, 11 June 2016

As the pile of negative yielding government debt passes the $10 trillion mark, it has been described as a “supernova that will explode one day.”

Economic conflicts threaten global trade war

By Nick Beams, 3 June 2016

The decision by the US International Trade Commission to launch an investigation into 40 Chinese steel producers has far-reaching implications.

International finance capital and the strikes in France

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2016

The aim of the “structural reforms” demanded by the IMF and the financial elites is the destruction of all the social gains of the European working class won in the past seven decades.

Currency conflicts surface at G-7 meeting

By Nick Beams, 23 May 2016

As with other major economic summits in the recent period, the weekend meeting of the G-7 could reach no agreement on co-ordinated measures to halt the stagnation of the global economy.

IMF warns against British exit from EU

By Julie Hyland, 14 May 2016

IMF head Christine Lagarde warned that in the event of a vote to leave the European Union, the UK could enter into recession.

Forty million Russians in debt

By Clara Weiss, 7 May 2016

Household debt has more than doubled in Russia since 2008, with the total currently $159 billion.

Deepening contradictions within the global economy

By Nick Beams, 5 May 2016

Just as the economics of the present period are increasingly resembling the 1930s, so are the politics.

Eleven thousand jobs threatened at British Home Stores

By Jean Shaoul, 26 April 2016

Pension obligations will be transferred to the taxpayer, while the corporate heads’ own tax obligations are wiped out, courtesy of debt-financed transactions and off-shore tax havens.

Divisions grow over European Central Bank policy

By Nick Beams, 22 April 2016

German criticism of the ECB’s negative interest rate regime is not the result of differences over monetary policy philosophy but is rooted in the political economy of German capitalism.

Steel producers summit threatens stepped-up trade war against China

By Robert Stevens, 20 April 2016

The focus of the Brussels summit on the global steel crisis was “promoting structural adjustment” through job losses, deregulation and trade war measures against China.

VW hands out massive bonuses to company executives

By Dietmar Henning, 18 April 2016

The granting of bonuses to executives at VW illustrates how management is reacting to the exhaust emissions scandal, which has resulted in losses and potential fines.

UK Brexit referendum campaigns officially begin

By Jordan Shilton, 16 April 2016

The referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union is taking place under conditions of a deepening crisis for the Conservative government of David Cameron.

Conflicts over European financial policy point to coming attacks on workers

By Alex Lantier, 16 April 2016

Criticisms by German officials of easy-money policies at the European Central Bank were bitterly denounced by British, French, and US media and politicians.

IMF to meet amid worsening stagnation and rising geo-economic tensions

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2016

As global growth continues to slow, there are rising concerns that the negative interest rate policies of major central banks are worsening the situation.

Defend jobs in the steel industry!

For international workers’ unity, not national unity with the corporations!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Britain) and Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Germany), 9 April 2016

The only way to fight the destruction of tens of thousands of steel jobs in the UK and Germany is a struggle for the international unity of the working class.

European steel workers face massive attacks on jobs and pensions

By Dietmar Henning, 8 April 2016

The proposed merger of Tata Steel and the steel division of Thyssen Krupp would be accompanied by an assault on jobs and pensions in the European steel industry.

German report confirms poor die younger

By Dietmar Henning, 4 April 2016

The link between income and “years lived in good health” is even clearer than the link between income and life expectancy.

Forty thousand jobs threatened as Tata Steel announces end of UK operations

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2016

Neither Labour leader Corbyn nor the trade union bureaucracy proposes any struggle by steel workers in defence of their jobs.

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn to slash 2,100 rail freight transport jobs

By Dietmar Henning, 29 March 2016

Works councillors and union functionaries have already indicated they are prepared to cooperate in implementing the cuts, the first step to a further wave of consolidations.

Living standards fall and discontent rises in Russia

By Vladimir Volkov, 18 March 2016

In a sign of the population’s intense economic distress, retail trade levels in Russia have fallen to their lowest level in 40 years.

Central banks confront unintended consequences

By Nick Beams, 15 March 2016

Markets are awaiting decisions by the Bank of Japan and the US Fed on monetary policies as concerns grow over negative interest rates.

European Central Bank cuts rates and pours more money into financial markets

By Nick Beams, 11 March 2016

The ECB’s latest measures will do nothing to boost the real economy, but only lead to further financial speculation and increase the danger of a currency war.

Report on German poverty refutes propaganda of social recovery

By Stefan Steele, 5 March 2016

Almost one in six in Germany were registered as poor in 2014.

Bombardier adds to Northern Ireland manufacturing jobs massacre

By Harvey Thompson, 1 March 2016

The corporation announced that 1,080 jobs would go at its plant in Belfast, Ireland, which makes the wings for its new C-Series plane.

G-20 summit rules out coordinated stimulus

By Nick Beams, 29 February 2016

Despite calls for fiscal stimulus by the International Monetary Fund, the only area in which the major economic powers are increasing their spending is on the military.

Perplexity and divisions mark G-20 meeting

By Nick Beams, 26 February 2016

The G-20 meeting in Shanghai is riven by the widening divisions between the major capitalist powers as the crisis of the global economy intensifies.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank in crisis

By Gustav Kemper, 23 February 2016

Fears of collapse and panic sell-offs on the stock market have halved Deutsche Bank’s value over the course of a year to €20 billion.

European Steel unions demand trade war in Brussels

By Dietmar Henning, 20 February 2016

The European trade unions, led by Germany’s IG Metall, demonstrated last Monday in Brussels for trade war measures against Russia and China.

OECD downgrades global growth forecast

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2016

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said global growth has “practically flat-lined” and financial instability risks are on the rise.

Stock market panic risks new financial crisis

By Andre Damon, 12 February 2016

The global sell-off expresses growing fears that the trillions pumped into the financial system since 2008 have done nothing to improve its underlying health, and may have sown the seeds for a crash on an even greater scale.

A new stage in the global economic breakdown

By Nick Beams, 9 February 2016

The growing financial crisis in China, marked by capital flight and mounting concerns over debt levels, is accompanied by increasing doubts about the stability of the entire global banking system.

Global manufacturing continues to fall

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2016

The Chinese steel industry recorded a loss of more than $9 billion for 2015, in the clearest expression of China’s economic slowdown.

Global slowdown to deepen attacks on jobs

By Nick Beams, 25 January 2016

Stock markets recovered some of their losses at the end of the last week, but the underlying trend in the world economy is slower growth and outright recession.

The political significance of the global economic turmoil

By Nick Beams, 21 January 2016

The turmoil on global markets is an expression of the breakdown of the mechanisms and structures that have sustained world capitalism over the past quarter-century.

Major companies announce job cuts across Europe

By Kumaran Ira, 19 January 2016

The assault on the European working class comes amid mounting signs that the world economy is nearing another major crisis.

Wave of selling hits US markets

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2016

The sharp downturn in US markets has come amid a series of statements by banking officials that the conditions for a new financial crisis are rapidly developing.

Global markets continue to fall

By Nick Beams, 9 January 2016

The impact of events in China points to the worsening situation facing major Western corporations.

Stock markets continue to plunge amidst growing signs of economic crisis

By Andre Damon, 8 January 2016

The continued sell-off points to growing fears of a divergence between stock market values, which have been rising for nearly six years, and the slowdown of the world economy.

Global financial turmoil continues on fears of slower growth

By Nick Beams, 7 January 2016

The fall in oil prices to their lowest level in 11 years points to deepening recessionary trends that increase the risk of defaults in high-risk, high-yield bonds.

Syriza presents plan for drastic pension cuts

By Kumaran Ira, 7 January 2016

Based on Syriza’s record in government, workers must assume that its assurances that it is seeking to protect pensions as much as possible are outright lies.

IMF head warns of slow growth and economic “shocks” in 2016

By Barry Grey, 31 December 2015

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde wrote that global economic growth next year would be “disappointing” and the outlook for the medium term had also deteriorated.

A New Year’s sense of foreboding over the global economy

By Nick Beams, 30 December 2015

Economic developments in 2015 were dominated by intensifying recessionary trends throughout the world economy.