Dispatch from the Front: The Week of February 15

By February 15, 2010Economy, General

Today is a federal holiday, Presidents’ Day, a snow day by any other name. Congress is on recess, reconvening Monday, Feb. 22.

President Obama has a busy week planned in Washington and out West. On Tuesday, he visits a local jobs training center. On Wednesday, he hosts King Juan Carlos of Spain. The President welcomes the Dalai Lama to the White House on Thursday, incensing Chinese leaders who might retaliate with some economic, political, or military gesture. President Obama travels later that day to Denver for a fundraiser for Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO), heading to Las Vegas on Friday to hold an event with Senate Majority Leader Reid and attend a DNC fundraiser.

On Tuesday, the President and the Department of Energy are expected to announce federal loan guarantees to the Southern Co. for construction of two new units at Plant Vogtle, south of Augusta, Ga.

Economic Reports: On Wednesday, Commerce releases January data on housing starts, as well as reports on export and import prices and industrial production, also for January. That afternoon, the Fed releases minutes from its Federal Open Market Committee meeting in late January. On Thursday, we will see the producer price Index for January, and on Friday it’s the consumer price index.

The National Governors Association begins its winter meeting on Saturday here in Washington, with health care the theme as picked by the NGA’s chairman, Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont. His initiative is, “Rx for Health Reform: Affordable, Accessible, Accountable.” Also meeting at the J.W. Marriott next door to NAM HQ will be Canadian provincial premiers; Monday’s meeting focuses on redesigning states in the post-recession economy, with speakers Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’sEconomy.com, and Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company.

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