The world inside Mark Zandi's computer model feels pretty familiar. It's full of people who are worried about the economy. Their homes are being foreclosed on. They're paying more for gas. Something like 13 million of them can't find jobs.
After the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya earlier this week, Google took down the YouTube video said to have sparked the violence — but only in Libya and in Egypt, where anti-American protests also flared up.
It's an example of the challenges of balancing U.S. free speech concerns and of something known as the "heckler's veto."
The Innocence of Muslims isn't the only YouTube video that can be seen in the U.S. but not elsewhere. Nazi propaganda is banned in Germany, for example, and slurs against Turkey's founder don't appear in that country.
And today's last word in business is: Gangnam Style.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC VIDEO, "GANGNAM STYLE")
PSY: (Rapping) Oppan gangnamseutail.
INSKEEP: That's the music video by the Korean rapper Psy - P-S-Y. Since it was posted in July, it has gotten more than 160 million views - 160 million. The song recently made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And at the rate it's going it will surpass the summer earworm "Call Me Maybe" in YouTube views.
The Federal Reserve in this country is embarking on another unconventional program to strengthen the sluggish economic recovery. This time, the Fed is focused on the housing market, as NPR's John Ydstie reports.
JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: At the end of their two day meeting yesterday, Fed officials said they intend to buy $40 billion a month of mortgage backed securities to help the struggling housing market.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke explained the rationale at his post meeting new conference.
NPR's business news starts with a do-it-yourself downsizing.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Home Depot, the U.S.-based home improvement big box chain, says it's going to leave some big boxes behind. It's going to close seven of its stores in China. The company says it's moving away from the do-it-yourself model in China.
A job fair was held at the The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., last month. The U.S. unemployment rate declined in August in part because the number of "discouraged workers" climbed.
The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.
The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.
After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed announced that it would spend $40 billion a month on mortgage-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the economy and drive the the unemployment rate down.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:46 pm
Lean, finely textured beef, dubbed "pink slime" by critics, is frozen on a large drum as part of its manufacturing process at the Beef Products Inc.'s plant in S. Sioux City, Neb. in March.
Credit Nati Harnik / AP
Beef Products, Inc., the South Dakota company at the center of a firestorm this spring over its product labeled "pink slime" by critics, announced Thursday it is suing ABC News for defamation and $1.2 billion in damages.
BPI alleges that ABC reporters and hosts made 200 false statements over the course of a month about BPI's product, known in the industry as lean, finely textured beef (LFTB).