Editor's Choice for the Week of February 8, 2010: Obama Meets on Economy, While Budget and Trade Deficits Are Reported

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On Monday, February 8, Judge Jed Rakoff holds a hearing on the disputed SEC-Bank of America-Merrill Lynch merger lawsuit. Also that day, Hartford Financial and Lincoln National report earnings. Both life insurers are TARP recipients that haven't repaid the government yet.

On Tuesday, February 9, President Obama meets Congressional leaders at the White House to discuss the economy; he plans a similar, broadcast-live gathering on healthcare on February 25. Also that day, NYSE Euronext reports earnings.

On Wednesday, February 10: the Federal budget deficit is reported by the Treasury Department, while the Census Bureau reports the U.S. trade deficit numbers on the same day.

The Congressional Budget Office, by the way, figures the deficit will rise to $1.4 trillion this year if nothing changes.

On February 10th, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, recently given a second term as Fed Chairman, testifies before Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee on liquidity and the economy; on Thursday, February 11, the same committee will hold hearings on small business and commercial real estate lending. Also on February 11, January retail sales are released, along with December business inventories. If you're already getting sports spectacle withdrawal after the Super Bowl (read here about the so-called Super Bowl effect), the opening ceremonies for the Vancouver Winter Olympics are on Friday, February 12.

Moody's warning last week that the United States's AAA credit rating may be in jeopardy prompted many reactions. Among the notable ones was R. Glenn Hubbard's piece in The Wall Street Journal (page A-21) on February 8, and David Sanger in The New York Times on February 5.

On the international front, G-7 leaders meeting in Canada said Greece's crushing debt burden would not pose a serious threat to the global economy. Closer to home, when asked about the U.S. losing its top credit rating, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on the ABC News show This Week "That will never happen to this country." In that same interview, Geithner said that "We have much lower risk of double-dip recession now than at any time in the past 12 months." While admitting that "we have more work to do on creating jobs and encouraging business investment--we can afford that; our first priority is to see that the growth we're seeing is translated into jobs."

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