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Five Things We're Watching: March 10, 2011

SEC conflicts, economic data across continents, and iPad fever. Here's some of what we’re watching — and you should as well.

Mary L. Shapiro
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Mary L. Shapiro

Who's Watching Wall Street's Watchdog?: That's the big question when Mary Schapirofaces the House Oversight Committee at 1:30pm ET. By far the biggest issue is the former SEC general counsel who inherited a Madoff account and cashed it out a few years ago, before the fraud was discovered. When he returned to the SEC last year, the ethics office said it wasn't a problem (what?) and allowed him to work on projects that would affect the Madoff case (what??): specifically, the role of the SEC in the decision to allow those injured in Madoff's collapse to clawback money from those who cashed out earlier … like him (what???). Makes total sense, right? Anyway, Eamon Javers covers the hearing as it unfolds.

The Price of Admission: Not to be outshined in the world of Capitol Hill hearings, a Senate Committee will place Bridgeport Education under scrutiny, using the for-profit company to illustrate the issues surrounding the industry at large. CNBC's Herb Greenberg has led the way, raising red flags in the sector, and points out that, while this isn't the first hearing on the matter, it's highly unusual for one company to be singled out in this manner. Either way, Congress is trying to put the pieces together, potentially ushering in a fresh wave of criticism on for-profit practices.

Betting on Buckle: Retail hot shot The Buckle reports quarterly earnings before the opening bell Thursday. Important to us because that's where we buy our limited edition Ed Hardy t-shirts, but also because shares of the retailer are up more than 50 percent since August. Analysts are looking for The Buckle to report earnings of $1.00 per share, though the company needs to ease investor worries over declining net income and operating cash flow over the past four quarters.

Hello, iPad: Version two of Apple's tablet doesn't hit stores until Friday afternoon, but we'll take our first hands-on look at the device Thursday, when CNBC contributor and New York Times personal technology columnist David Pogue offers up his on-air review of the device. What do you need to know before braving hours worth of lines outside your local Apple store? We'll spend Thursday diving deeper into the impact iPad 2 will have on the tablet-laptop-PC market.

British Policy & American Jobs: Those are the two key themes in the data-sphere tomorrow, with the 7:00am ET Bank of England policy decision leading the way. While economists don't expect the BoE to raise rates, the UK has to face up to above-target inflation and a 0.6 percent GDP contraction in Q4. At 8:30am ET, senior economics reporter Steve Liesman leads our coverage of the weekly jobless claims numbers, as bulls hope another sub-400k-thousand number builds on the momentum of the strong February employment report.

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