After WWII, the US recognized that its own economy would lapse into recession quickly unless the US helped to strengthen the economies of Europe and Japan, as major trading partners, albeit for geopolitical considerations as well. Although the international political economy of the early 21st century does not resemble that of 1945, disequilibrium on a world scale owing to centralization of capital in the core countries poses a threat to the entire capitalist system. (Mario Baldasari et al. eds.. Global Disequilibrium in the World Economy)
Despite a real GDP rise of 2%, sales decline in the US during the fourth quarter of 2015 was -5.3%, indicative that consumers are simply unable to carry any more debt given their income levels. World trade decline in 2015 was the worst since 2009 amid the Great Recession, reflecting a world consumption slump. Ironically, the IMF whose monetarist (austerity policies) are responsible for steadily declining consumption among the middle and working classes lists “low consumption demand” as a root cause for the declining global GDP in its latest revised estimate that I am positive will be revised downward at least once in 2016 possibly twice. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2016/update/01/; http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/fe1df514-4b43-11e5-b558-8a9722977189.html#axzz3xtlGwZsK.
The low energy argument hardly explains the current world contraction and market slump because it is high energy prices that invariably contribute to such contraction as they divert spending from other sectors to energy – as has happened historically. Nevertheless, this is the pretext many are using instead of looking at real causes for capitalism’s structural flaws, just as is the inane argument about Iran releasing a few hundred thousand more barrels of oil in the market. The reality is that Greek oil tankers were already transporting Iranian oil illegally for years to areas that supposedly had sanctions on Iran. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article24746689.html; A. H. Cordesman et al.The Gulf and the Military Balance)
(http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/; Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Roggof, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, 2011; R. Z Aliber and Charles Kindleberger, Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, 2011)