State of the Union: President Obama will use the State of the Union address to announce initiatives aimed at helping struggling middle class families -- what the administration calls "the sandwich generation" -- according to The New York Times.
Geithner on Bernake: In an interview with Politico, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warns that the financial markets could take a hit if the Senate refuses to reappoint Ben Bernake to another term as Federal Reserve chairman. "I think the markets would view that as a very troubling thing to the economy as a whole," he said."But, as I said, I don't think they should be uncertain. I think they should be confident because we are very confident he will be reconfirmed."
The Mortgage Market's Big Moment: The federal government is getting ready to end programs it has used to keep mortgage rates at historic lows for the past year, posing a massive test to the health of the housing market, The Washington Post writes.
Bin Laden Steals Christmas?: In a newly released video tape, Osama Bin Laden claims that high level al Qaeda leaders were responsible for planning the failed Christmas Day bomb attack aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253. "The claim of responsibility appears to trump an earlier statement by the Yemen-based branch of the terror group and suggests a high level of coordination and communication between the top leadership thought to be hiding along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and the group based in and operating from the impoverished Arab country," writes The Wall Street Journal.