The post-crisis rebound boosted home prices 25 pct even as sales and construction lagged. Increasing household formation, job creation and easing credit look set to give the market another leg up, despite rising interest rates and the headwind of sliding affordability.

Bitcoin's defects will hasten its demise in 2015

The leading crypto-currency’s economies of scale in mining and its transaction system’s vulnerability to subversion by a dominant miner make it unsound. As seignorage declines it will become cost-uncompetitive for transactions. Flaws may cause its price to lose further altitude.

Review: Fixing the CIA - a novel approach

Could an outsider best reform the CIA in the wake of torture revelations? In David Ignatius’ novel “The Director,” a pro-privacy tech CEO tries to drag an agency that has lost its way into a new world of tighter rules, leaky secrets and cyberthreats. Good idea, uneven results.

JPMorgan soul-baring cuts room for error

Jamie Dimon’s bank has followed Goldman Sachs’ 2011 lead by publishing a report detailing how it has responded to crises. Amid the PR-speak are some worrying admissions and much-needed improvements. Future failures and shareholder concerns will be harder to explain away.

Mary Barra gets a second first year at GM's wheel

The carmaker’s ignition-switch fiasco crashed her debut as CEO. The crisis may, though, have speeded up much-needed changes. Barra needs to show these will stick. She also has to prove the Motown firm is prepared for what may be some of the biggest changes the industry has faced.

Uncle Sam stoked to hash out marijuana in 2015

Now that four U.S. states and D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis, commerce and safety warrant better regulation. But federal rules prohibiting the drug create obstacles. For the fledgling industry to mellow, Washington needs to tweak laws to consent to states’ will.

Inflation could make a surprise comeback

Price and wage increases look like endangered economic species. Falling commodity prices make it hard to imagine a comeback. But many policymakers would welcome a return of mild inflation. They might eventually get more than they want.