NPR Topics: Business Story of the Day Podcast: Episodes

From cellphones to laptops to electric cars, lithium is the metal of choice for battery makers. In his book, <em>Bottled Lightning</em>, Seth Fletcher explores new applications of the light, cheap metal and investigates what he calls the "lithium economy."
The California Public Employee Retirement System, CalPers, is the largest public pension fund in the nation. During the financial crisis, the fund took a big hit. Joseph Dear, chief investment officer for CalPERS, tells Linda Wertheimer that recently the fund has had double-digit returns.
Many believe that one of the biggest challenges poor people face is hunger, but economist Abhijit Banerjee argues that the economics of poverty are often much more nuanced. Banerjee looks at how poor people make economic decisions in his book, <em>Poor Economics.</em>
Another crop of tablet computers is coming out. Bloomberg technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky talks to Steve Inskeep about whether any of them can compete with Apple's iPad,
Google recently launched a new algorithm for generating search results — one meant to keep low-quality sites out of top hits. For Mitch Lieberman's online furniture business, the change has led to a mass drop in rankings and profits. He's taken on a daunting, expensive effort to reverse his company's fate.
News of the death of Osama Bin-Laden is having an effect on financial markets. Stocks are up Monday morning in New York and the price of commodities like oil are down slightly.
The annual shareholders meeting of Berkshire Hathaway takes place this weekend in Omaha, Neb. The company is run by Warren Buffet, and the meeting is referred to as the "Woodstock for Capitalists." Financial journalist Roger Lowenstein talks to Renee Montagne about why the faithful come from far and ...
Michihiro Kono lost his factory, storeroom, customer records and two of his employees in the tsunami. But the ninth-generation CEO of Yagisawa Co. is determined to rebuild his soy sauce business, despite the odds.
The Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1937 gave life to the United Auto Workers union. GM workers gained collective bargaining rights and the contracts became models for workers in other industries. Olen Ham was one of those striking GM workers. Today, he continues to fight for worker rights.
In 1952 there were 470 strikes nationally; in 2010 there were 11. A chief tool of labor unions, striking has clearly declined sharply in the past few decades amid economic shifts and growing anti-union sentiment.
Brazilian meat producer JBS is cornering the worldwide meat market by buying up companies from the United States to Australia to Italy. How does JBS, perhaps more than any other company, reflects the power of the new Brazil?
A proposed ban on shark fin consumption has environmentalists facing off against many Chinese restaurants in California. A state assemblyman says harvesting shark fins is brutal since often the fins are cut off and the living shark is dumped back into the ocean.
The fastest growing restaurant chain in the country is a hamburger eatery called Five Guys. Along with restaurants like Elevation Burger and Ray's Hell Burger, it offers fresh, steakhouse-quality beef — and is leading a revolution that's making the bigger chains take notice.
The Colombian city is one of the largest in the world to practice participatory budgeting — which has helped bring arts and social services to streets otherwise torn by poverty and violence.
Major U.S. automakers say the Obama administration's skepticism about whether hydrogen cars are viable is unwarranted. They insist the vehicles are ready for prime time and are urging the government not to cut funding for development.
The president and the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee were on opposite sides of a heated debate this past week over the best way to cut the federal deficit. But there's one thing Obama and Congressman Paul Ryan agree on: They both want to overhaul the corporate tax code.
Some same-sex couples have to file their federal income taxes in a new way this year. And for some of those couples, it means they'll save a lot of money. Thanks to new rules, they split their income down the middle.
American families need to earn at least $68,000 a year to achieve basic economic security, a new report says. That's more than three times higher than the national poverty level. Child care can top rent as the biggest household expense.
With cotton prices rising to record highs thanks to a global shortage, U.S. cotton farmers are stepping up their acreage. In Kansas, a state long dominated by wheat and corn, it's the new crop on the block.
Washington, D.C., has joined dozens of other cities in going after online travel websites for what they claim are tens of millions of dollars in back taxes on hotel bookings. After years of court battles, online travel companies and cities agree that hotel laws need to be updated.
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