|The News Line: Editorial
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Stock market crash – Only socialist revolution can end the carnage!
ON MONDAY the Wall Street stock market crashed with the Dow Jones Index, which follows the fortunes of 30 large US companies on a daily basis, recording a massive drop of 1.175 points.
This may sound a small amount but it represents the largest one day fall in the history of modern capitalism, and it comes on top of drops in share prices that started last Friday and since then have become an avalanche as the speculators dump shares and run for their lives.
The contagion from this crash has quickly spread throughout the world stock markets with the UK FTSE 100 opening yesterday down 146 points as traders joined in unloading shares for fear of being caught holding onto worthless bits of paper.
Over £27 billion was wiped off the London stock market yesterday in just one day of trading.
The same story has been repeated across European, Australian and Asian stock markets as panic gripped the entire world capitalist financial system, leading analysts to use words like ‘bloodbath’ and ‘carnage’ to describe the catastrophe that has unfolded with a rapidity that has left them dumbfounded.
It was all so different just 11 days ago when US president Trump stood up at the World Economic Forum in Davos and boasted to an adoring audience of bankers and financiers that he was personally responsible for the US stock market soaring by 50% as a result of his massive tax cuts to the giant corporations and banks.
Trump has gone silent now and the word from Washington is that this unprecedented crash is just a ‘mild correction’.
There is nothing mild about having over a trillion pounds wiped off the capitalist stock markets in just two days, this is a crash of historic importance and depth with revolutionary implications for the working class in every country.
The immediate cause of Friday’s Wall Street meltdown has been laid at the door of statistics in the US showing a very slight percentage increase in the average pay of workers.
This is seen as a trigger for the US central bank, the Fed, to push up interest rates, something the Fed has been desperate to do for years in an attempt to hold back the huge debt bubble that has grown since 2008.
The policy of free money handed to the banks in the form of quantitative easing and zero-interest rates was implemented in the US and Europe as a desperate move to stop the banks from collapsing.
In practice, all this free money has been used to massively inflate share prices across the world.
Huge multi-national companies, that in reality produce no profit at all, were able to not just stagger on but apparently record huge gains simply by taking on massive loans from banks that were awash with free money. These are the ‘zombie’ companies, and even a slight increase in interest rates will mean they cannot repay their debts to the banks.
Think of Carillion, massively in debt, making no profit, yet until the day before its final collapse its shares valued at over £2.40 each, and paying out millions to shareholders and bosses, leaving its workers without a penny in wages and with their pension fund vaporised.
Now multiply Carillion by hundreds of thousands and we see the picture of a massive world capitalist crash with these zombie companies going down and taking with them the banks that they owe trillions to.
Like Carillion, the capitalist class will demand that the working class pay the price for its crash through mass unemployment, having their wages and savings seized by the banks and every part of welfare spending ended as the capitalist state demands all money go towards propping up a bankrupt capitalist system.
This poses point blank before the working class that the only solution to this crisis for workers is to put an end to a capitalist system that can only offer a future of misery and poverty.
This means the working class taking power and going forward to a socialist society that will expropriate the bosses and bankers and bring about a planned socialist economy.
Only socialist revolution can put an end to capitalist
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