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Opening Bell: 02.14.11

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Deficit Expected To Jump To $1.65 Trillion (WSJ)
Mr. Obama is proposing $3.73 trillion in government spending in the next fiscal year, part of a plan that includes budget cuts and tax increases that administration officials believe will sharply bring down the federal deficit over 10 years. The deficit would decline in fiscal year 2012 to $1.1 trillion, or 7% of gross domestic product, under Mr. Obama's plan, as a year-long payroll tax holiday and an extension of federal jobless benefits expired, administration officials said. By 2017, the budget plan says, the deficit would be shaved to $627 billion, or 3% of gross domestic product.

Housing Crash Is Hitting Cities Once Thought To Be Stable (NYT)
In the last year, home prices in Seattle had a bigger decline than in Las Vegas. Minneapolis dropped more than Miami, and Atlanta fared worse than Phoenix. The bubble markets, where builders, buyers and banks ran wild, began falling first, economists say, so they are close to the end of the cycle and in some cases on their way back up. Nearly everyone else still has another season of pain.

JPMorgan Plans New-Media Fund (WSJ)
The bank plans to start a fund that would invest in Internet and digital-media companies, people familiar with the matter said. The planned investment fund, run from the New York company's asset-management unit, is expected to raise between $500 million and $750 million, these people said. Marketing materials were sent to prospective investors starting about two weeks ago.

Credit Suisse Raises $6.2 Billion From Middle East Investors (BBC)
Credit Suisse says it will issue contingent convertible bonds to Qatar Holding and the Olayan Group. The bank is aiming to meet stricter capital requirement rules proposed by regulators. Swiss authorities see CoCos as way to avoid future government bail-outs of financial institutions.

Harvard Business School's Newest Student: Tyra Banks (Herald)
Tyra’s taking an executive education class at HBS.

Number Of Russian Billionaires Hits New High (FT)
Russia boasted 114 dollar billionaires at the end of last year. The previous peak was in 2007, when there were 101 billionaires.

N.Y.S.E. Name Must Come First in Exchange Merger, Schumer Says (Dealbook)
“The New York Stock Exchange is one of the most trusted, preeminent brands in the financial world, with cachet that money simply cannot buy,” he said. “It would not be in the best interests of the combined company to dilute that brand.”

For Big Board Chief Duncan Niederauer, It's Hero Or Goat (WSJ)
NYSE and Frankfurt's Deutsche Börse AG continued negotiations over the weekend to merge into the world's largest exchange, trading more stocks and futures than any rival. A formal announcement could come as soon as Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter. The stakes are high for Mr. Niederauer, who many exchange-watchers believe will be the dominant executive at the new company. If the deal turns out well, the 51-year-old New Yorker could be running a global exchange powerhouse from NYSE headquarters for years to come. If it doesn't, he will be remembered as the Big Board chief who handed over an iconic American institution to foreigners.

Judge: CT Man Must Apologize For Attacking Mascot (Courant)
A man accused of tackling the Connecticut Whale hockey team mascot has been ordered to apologize to fans and do community service, his lawyer said Friday. Judge Raymond Norko ordered Kevin O'Connell in community court Feb. 4 to write a letter of apology and have it published in The Hartford Courant, his lawyer, Peter F. Odlum said. O'Connell, 28, from East Hartford also must do 10 days of community service when he recovers from a shoulder problem, Odlum said. In addition, he must read a book and write an essay about it, he said.The attack occurred at a Jan. 29 game, police said, when a drunken O'Connell tackled and punched "Pucky the Whale" while the mascot was greeting young fans in the stands. O'Connell told police he had attacked the mascot because of a bet.

Geithner Quietly Tells Obama Debt Expense to Increase to Record (Bloomberg)
The U.S. needs to manage its spending decisions “in a way that demonstrates confidence to investors so we can bring down our long-term fiscal deficits, because if we don’t do that, it’s going to hurt future growth,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in Washington on Feb. 9.

Bruce Berkowitz says he has resigned from $JOE board "effective immediately" (Twitter)