And for the past few months, global stock markets appeared to be on an escalator going up, relentlessly reaching new highs. This week, that ride seems to be over - or maybe not. To find out, we turn, as we often do, to David Wessel, he's the economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.
DAVID WESSEL: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: David, put the stock markets into perspective for us. Apart from the day-to-day ups and downs, which we have been seeing, how have the markets been doing?
And our last word in business today, quite a tongue lashing for McDonald's. The company held its annual shareholders meeting in yesterday, and when the floor opened for questions, a nine-year-old girl approached the microphone.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Hannah Robertson spoke loud and clear, saying quote, "there are things in life that aren't fair, like when your pet dies." And she continued, "I don't think it's fair when big companies try to trick kids into eating food."
Denise Mauzerall arrived in Beijing this year at a time that was both horrifying and illuminating. The capital was facing some of its worst pollution in recent memory, and Mauzerall, a Princeton environmental engineering professor, was passing through on her way to a university forum on the future of cities.
"I took the fast train from Beijing to Shanghai, and looking out the window for large sections of that trip, you couldn't see more than 20 feet," Mauzerall recalled.
To Mauzerall, the lesson was surprising and inescapable.