Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley visit the Walter Payton College Preparatory school in Chicago. Chris Walker/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Walker/AP

President Obama meets with China's President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Seoul, South Korea, in November. The Chinese leader comes to Washington this week. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Dharapak/AP

Shopper Monica Eaves, with her daughter, Sophia, 2, shops for holiday gifts at The Grove outdoor mall in Los Angeles on Tuesday. A strong start to the holiday season is raising confidence that the consumer is back and that 2011 could be a better year for the economy than expected. AP Photographer/AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP Photographer/AP

President Obama walks at the White House with presidential debt commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles (left) and Alan Simpson. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Johnson (center) signs the Medicare Act in 1965 as former President Harry Truman (right) looks on. Now the cost of Medicare threatens to crush the federal budget. LBJ Library/National Archives hide caption

itoggle caption LBJ Library/National Archives

Pamphlets with information about unemployment are displayed in a career center in Oakland, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America

People search for jobs in an employment office in El Centro, Calif. More than 6 million people in the U.S. have been out of work for six months or longer. Mark Ralston/AFP hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Ralston/AFP

Last month in Des Moines, Iowa, President Obama held a backyard discussion on the economy. With unemployment near 10 percent, the president and his fellow Democrats have had trouble touting positive economic news -- like the lower-than-expected TARP bill. Rodney White/AP/The Des Moines Register hide caption

itoggle caption Rodney White/AP/The Des Moines Register

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak Friday at a conference in Wyoming. Investors are looking for clues that the Fed will do more to stimulate the economy. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

An employee inspects finished rolls of aluminum at an Alcoa facility in Newburgh, Ind., in 2006. The company has slashed payrolls in its core business by about one-third. Daniel R. Patmore/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel R. Patmore/AP

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg (right) stands with outgoing CEO Tony Hayward. Hayward may not receive any exit compensation if he stays on with the company. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption AFP/Getty Images

U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg says executive payouts were "ill-advised," but critics say he should have acted more forcefully. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images