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

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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

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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