Uri Berliner | St. Louis Public Radio

Uri Berliner

Iran may not be fond of Western-style capitalism, but it has a stock market where shares in Iranian companies are traded.

And if sanctions are lifted following the nuclear deal, it could be where international investors road-test Iran's economy.

Earlier this week, just after the landmark deal about the future of Iran's nuclear program had been announced, Radman Rabii in Teheran was excited about the future.

One-hundred-fifty years ago, a man named Samuel Van Syckel built the nation's first commercial oil pipeline in the rugged terrain of northwestern Pennsylvania.

His pipeline transformed how oil is transported — and it would change the modern world, too — but not before a battle that makes the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline look meek by comparison.

The men's NCAA college basketball tournament starts next week.

In a twist on the familiar March Madness bracket, a mortgage company and a world-famous investor are offering a billion dollars to anyone who picks the winner of all 63 games in the NCAA college basketball tournament.

It's a contest, and it may also be the perfect publicity stunt.

Let's introduce the players. There's Quicken Loans, the mortgage company that's sponsoring the contest. And there's investor Warren Buffett — he's the insurance man here, willing to pay out the $1 billion if someone wins.

We have been reporting for several weeks now on small businesses in America. Today, we explore a business system where entrepreneurs and corporations come together: franchising. Franchising is a bit like marriage. It takes a good long-term relationship to succeed.

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

Comcast, the Philadelphia based cable giant, announced a major deal late Tuesday afternoon. It will buy the 49 percent stake of NBCUniversal that it did not already own for $16.7 billion. General Electric is the seller and will also be selling some prized real estate as part of the deal.

Throughout the debate over taxes and the "fiscal cliff," there's been a lot of looking backward — to the 1990s. The economic expansion of the 1990s was the longest in recorded American history.

Democrats say the economy thrived under the leadership of President Bill Clinton, including his tax rate increase on high earners. Republicans say government didn't spend as much then and that growth didn't really take off until the GOP took control of Congress in 1995.

So what actually happened in the '90s? What made them tick?

A Unique Boom