Financial 411: A Somber Mood at the World Economic Forum

'Too Big to Fail' Lives On

That's the conclusion from the inspector general for the bank bailout bill, also known as TARP. Neil Barofsky told members of Congress that last year's financial overhaul bill will not end future bailouts. A Treasury official disagreed, saying the new law gives regulators the tools they need to avoid the taxpayer rescue of failing banks.

NYS Takes Control of Nassau County's Finances

New York State has seized control of Nassau County's finances. Members of a government-appointed panel said the county failed to close a budget gap in its $2.6 billion budget.

Nation's Budget Gap Widening

The nation's budget gap is also growing. The Congressional Budget Office reported the federal deficit this year will rise to a record $1.5 trillion. That's as if every American had credit card debt of $4,800.

Was the 2008 Financial Crisis Avoidable?

As regulators write the new rules for Wall Street, a Congressionally appointed panel said the 2008 financial crisis was avoidable. The New York Times got a copy of the commission's report in advance of its release tomorrow and said it blames the Bush and Clinton Administrations, the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Democrats on the panel approved the findings; Republicans did not. The lack of bipartisan support could undermine the report's effectiveness.

Markets

At one point today, the Dow Jones broke through 12,000 for the first time in 2-1/2 years. But in the end, it closed at 11,985, gaining eight points. The S&P ended at 1,297, up five points. The NASDAQ closed at 2,739, gaining 20 points.

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

World leaders and CEOs, along with academic superstars, are gathering once again in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. It's an exclusive — and expensive —  five-day retreat where the global elite debate and discuss the future of the global economy as it continues its recovery from the recent financial crisis.  

Tom Keene, editor-at-large at Bloomberg News and host at "Bloomberg Surveillance," is at the meeting. He talks about the mood in Davos, and what's expected to come out of this year's meeting.