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Rolled steel at a steel products exchange market in Shanghai. China's growing need for raw materials has meant a boon for Latin America. - 


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Time to open the Marketplace Vault and take another look at This Week in the History of Business. U.S. industrial economy.

STACEY VANEK-SMITH: Call it the power-lunch to end all power-lunches.

This week back in 1900, finance titans Charles Schwab and J.P. Morgan got together for a meal. Between courses, they developed the idea for a giant steel conglomerate.

They soon got industry giant Andrew Carnegie on board, and created US Steel. It was the largest business enterprise ever launched.

Shortly after it opened, US Steel controlled two-thirds of the domestic steel industry. The federal government tried to break it up several times, due to anti-trust concerns, but US Steel held strong.

In fact, the company still exists under the name: United States Steel Corporation. It remains the largest integrated steel producer in the U.S.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith.

Follow Stacey Vanek Smith at @svaneksmith