Also: The British Library releases more than 1 million images to Flickr; the resistible charms of Alain de Botton; and the earliest prison diary written by a black man or woman.
HOST: The Italian Prime Minister called it his country's "true nightmare". The German Chancellor says it threatens the future of Europe. They were talking about youth unemployment - a much bigger problem in Europe than in the U.S. Throughout this week, Marketplace is putting the spotlight on Europe's jobless generation. Our European correspondent Stephen Beard reports.
BEARD: The numbers are appalling. The rates of youth unemployment in some European countries have reached horrific levels: 60 percent in Greece, 74 percent in parts of southern Spain. And ,of course, these are not just statistics; they are real people.
GEORGIA CISKA: "I am a young person, I have to work. I want to work. And I can't."
BEARD: 28-year-old Georgia Ciska from Athens has a university degree and speaks three languages but she cannot find a job - any job …even waiting at tables.
BEARD: You applied for hundreds of jobs would you say?
CISKA: "Yes hundreds."
BEARD: And what response did you get?
CISKA: "No response at all."
BEARD: Like Georgia lives with her parents and is totally dependent on them. 22 year old Jon Kolliarakis is a qualified insurance broker , also unemployed, also living at home and feeling guilty.
JON KOLLIARAKIS: "I feel I am not contributing to my family and thius is bad for me, very bad."
BEARD: Jon feels he wasted his time getting an education. That feeling is widespread. In Italy 24 year old Christina Lupo worked hard for her degree and her masters. Now she's wondering why she bothered.
CHRISTINA LUPO: "It's better that a person starts to work, early at 18 , in a restaurant and don't study because person that study …it's really difficult to find a job."
BEARD: In recent months European governments have committed to spend $10 billion combatting youth joblessness. In Athens Georgia Ciska is not reassured. So bruised is she by her long spell without work , she doesn't feel she'll ever get a secure, well paid job.
CISKA: "I think it will be like that forever in Greece, for my generation at least."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power a year ago. His party's policy of so-called "Abenomics" involves three “arrows” of economic reform: easy money from the central banks, government stimulus spending, and structural reforms aimed at boosting Japanese industry and competitiveness.
So far, 'Abenomics' has worked by getting a lot of money into the Japanese economy. The Nikki stock index is up about 58 percent compared to last year. But the BBC's Linda Yueh in Tokyo says there's more to the story than that.
"While I certainly think the first two arrows -- cheap money, which is the first arrow, and government spending to replace private spending, which is the second arrow -- can have a very immediate short term effect, what I'm slightly unsure about is what's going to happen when they finally fire the third arrow. So, I don't know if you can hear around me, but I'm in Shibuya, which is a big shopping district, and it looks as if it's really busy. Lots and lots of people going about. But the truth is, Japan is an aging economy with a shrinking population. There just aren't enough people who have been buying as before. And that make 'Abenomics' -- the third arrow -- extremely difficult to achieve quickly."
For more on the three arrows of Abenomics and how the Japanese economy is reacting, click the audio player above to listen to the story.
Today is expected to be the U.S. Postal Service’s busiest mailing day. So if you’re heading out to stand on line at the Post Office, expect to be joined by about 6 million of your friends and neighbors.
Zy Richardson is a public relations representative for the U.S. Postal Service. To hear her talk, you and your 6 million friends are gonna have very tired arms from carrying all that stuff. “We are projecting about 607 million pieces of mail to be processed just on today alone,” she says.
She says a decade ago, post offices braced for 670 million letters and packages on this busiest day. So while total volume is down at the Post Office -- first class mail has declined -- the headline is the rise of packages.
Mark Schoeman is president of the Colography Group, a market research firm. He expects package shipments will go up 10 percent this holiday season, over last year.
“We’re estimating that the volume for the holiday season is gonna be around the 2.1 billion pieces,” he says, referring to packages sent through the postal service and private carriers.
Schoeman also says shipment weights are lighter than in the past. Perhaps we’re purchasing more featherweight trinkets online, like little cell phone cases.
So not everyone’s arms will be tired, after all.
Later this week Facebook joins an elite club. On Friday the social media giant will become part of the Standard & Poors 500 index. Yes, it’s one of the three stock indices we follow daily here at Marketplace. So what exactly does that mean?
In some ways, joining the index is a symbolic achievement. Facebook’s share price will now be reflected in one of the most widely-followed measures of the stock market.
“It means the company has arrived,” says Georgetown University finance professor James Angel. “It means that it’s one of the largest companies by market value in the United States.”
It also means more investors will buy the stock, he says. That’s because of mutual funds that try to match the returns of an index like S&P.
“Those index funds will now have a portion devoted to shares of Facebook,” says internet analyst Tom Forte with Telsey Advisory Group. “So if you think of it loosely in kind of a supply/demand framework, the demand for shares of Facebook has gone up.”
That’s why Facebook’s stock rose on the news, he says, and likely will again when it officially joins the index.
But back to symbolism, Forte says the debut also represents a coming of age of social networking stocks. There are now three big-time market players: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Fontaine became a star for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca. She won a best actress Oscar for her performance in the director's Suspicion. Her older sister was actress Olivia de Havilland. The two were estranged for most of their adult lives.