It's hard to recall that a few decades ago drugmakers were among the most admired companies in the world. Starting back in the late '80s, Merck was No. 1 in Fortune's annual rankings for corporate prom king four years running.
The nuclear disaster in Japan comes at a time when some environmental groups had softened their positions against nuclear power. A few prominent environmentalists had even embraced nuclear energy as a way to fight climate change.
But will the latest nuclear crisis bring them back to their "no nukes" roots?
'One Of The Safest Technologies' Ever Created
Forty years ago, Patrick Moore helped found Greenpeace as an anti-nuclear group. Ten years ago, after he left Greenpeace, he had a change of heart.
Before the financial crisis, many Americans had never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Today, we own them.
The federal government took over Fannie and Freddie after bailing them out in 2008. The bailout cost taxpayers more than the bailouts of GM, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup combined.
By 2010, roughly 90 percent of all new mortgages issued in this country went through the U.S. government. For all intents and purposes, the $1.5 trillion U.S. mortgage market is now a government-run industry.
In dealing with the after-effects of the earthquake and tsunami, Japan has had help from international rescue teams, nuclear experts and the U.S. military.
But the bulk of the response to the calamity has come from the Japanese themselves.
Up and down the tsunami-damaged coast, members of the Japanese Self Defense Forces are at work. Their dull green Army vehicles race along the highways, military backhoes clear roads of rubble, and troops are even running makeshift morgues where people can come and try to identify the dead.