Discuss as:

Immigration, here we come?

The New York Times front-pages that President Obama will address immigration reform this year, including the contentious path for citizenship for illegal immigrants. "Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall. Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year's campaign."

More: "But with the economy seriously ailing, advocates on different sides of the debate said that immigration could become a polarizing issue for Mr. Obama in a year when he has many other major battles to fight." 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House is open to compromise on its climate-change agenda. "'[The president's] preferred approach was 100% auction to create incentives for companies to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions,' said White House spokesman Ben LaBolt. 'Members of Congress are looking at a variety of policy options to help us make that transition, and the administration will be flexible during the policy-making process as long as those larger goals' of a clean-energy economy, 'green' job creation and cutting oil imports are met, he said in an email."   

The results from the bank stress tests for the top 19 institutions will be delivered to Obama tomorrow, according to Bloomberg. "Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., will attend the session. The group also will have a 'significant discussion about other aspects of the economy,' said Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman."

The New York Times has a bit more on these stress tests. "What they are discovering may come as a relief to both the financial industry and the public: the banking industry, broadly speaking, seems to be in better shape than many people think, officials involved in the examinations say. That is the good news. The bad news is that many of the largest American lenders, despite all those bailouts, probably need to be bailed out again, either by private investors or, more likely, the federal government. After receiving many millions, and in some cases, many billions of taxpayer dollars, banks still need more capital, these officials say."

The Obama administration is pushing private investment firms who participate in the toxic asset to come up with something akin to Liberty Bonds.

Our only question: Why is the government running this bond program itself? Why not call on private firms to do it?

Also, keep an eye on some insurance stocks today to see how the news of the Treasury Department considering giving TARP funds to some insurance companies. 

Need to learn more on how the Federal Reserve works these days? Here's a good long read in today's Washington Post on Fed Chair Bernanke.

Auto watch: The story of Ford and its decision to avoid federal help is an interesting one. The New York Times has a tick-tock of sorts. CEO "Mulally, 63, is doing all he can to separate Ford in the public's mind from its hometown competitors. To emphasize his point, he pulled out a recent newspaper cartoon that compared college basketball's Final Four to Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen -- and Ford. 'We are competing against the best in the world,' Mr. Mulally said. 'It's not just with the companies in the U.S.'"

"While G.M. and Chrysler wait for more federal aid, Ford is capitalizing on its status as the only one of the Big Three in Detroit to make it, so far, on its own. Some surveys are showing consumers migrating away from G.M. and Chrysler to Ford showrooms. Inside Ford headquarters here in Dearborn, management sees a unique opportunity to expand its market share and further separate Ford from the competition."

"It's Star Wars vs. global warming," the New York Post writes. "President Obama's science adviser said yesterday the United States is considering extreme measures to defeat global warming -- such as shooting pollutants miles above the Earth to block the sun's rays."

And: "Ten priests from the order that founded the University of Notre Dame say the school risks its 'true soul' and could distance itself from the Roman Catholic Church by inviting President Barack Obama to campus next month."