While Hollywood strutted the red carpet at the Academy Awards, President Barack Obama hosted a black-tie dinner on Sunday for U.S. governors — who are debating whether it’s a good idea to take federal bailout money — at the White House in advance of a self-described “Fiscal Responsibility Summit” on Monday. The afternoon event is part of the push to sell Obama’s broader economic package before his speech to Congress on Tuesday and the unveiling of his first federal budget on Thursday.

Even before U.S. markets or the White House got going this week, the U.S. banking regulators issued an early morning statement, saying the U.S. government “stands firmly behind the banking system.” The statement added that a new capital assistance program to ensure banks are appropriately capitalized will start on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a notorious Washington “cold case” appears headed for resolution. The Washington Post and other media report police are seeking an arrest warrant in the death of Chandra Levy. Levy was the government intern from California whose disappearance was the hottest story of summer 2001. Her body was found in the city’s rambling Rock Creek Park.

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama enter White House East Room at black-tie dinner for U.S. governors, Feb 22)