National economics correspondent, The Wall Street Journal

Fannie Mae Posts Profit as Home Prices Rise — Rising home prices powered Fannie Mae to a $5.1 billion second-quarter profit, its largest since the mortgage-finance company was taken over by the government in 2008. The gain, which followed a $2.7 billion profit in the first quarter and a $2.9 billion loss in 2011's second quarter, offered the clearest sign yet that Fannie and its smaller sibling, Freddie Mac, are stabilizing after requiring massive injections of taxpayer aid to...

Trade Bank’s Supporters Scramble to Save It — Mounting conservative opposition spurs business groups and political proponents to action Business groups fear conservative opposition has grown intense enough to take down the U.S. Export-Import Bank when the bank's charter expires on June 30. Supporters in the Senate this week tried to tie the export-credit agency's reauthorization to a contentious trade bill, which cleared a major procedural hurdle in the chamber on Thursday.

How a Bank Will Use ‘Big Data’ To Study the U.S. Economy — What if banks could tap into their vast network of consumer and business accounts to ferret out signals about where the economy is headed? J.P. Morgan Chase is doing just that with the launch of a new institute that uses "big data"in analyzing hundreds of thousands of accounts for clues about income and spending patterns.

White House Taps Treasury Official to Coordinate Housing Policy — The White House has tapped Michael Stegman, a senior Treasury official, to coordinate housing policy across the Obama administration. Mr. Stegman will join the National Economic Council as its main housing adviser this week.

Cash Crunch, for Many, Is a Monthly Woe — American households across the wealth spectrum increasingly face sharp swings in monthly income and spending, a finding that underscores the unpredictability that has become a hallmark of the U.S. labor market since the recession. A J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Housing's Man in Middle Embraces Power of 'No' — WASHINGTON-Edward J. DeMarco has spent a career in the shadows of government, bouncing from one obscure post to another. Now, as the accidental head of the most powerful finance agency in housing, he controls the future of an industry weighing down the U.S. economy.

How the Democrats’ Fight Over Economic Policy Goes Beyond Trade — Tuesday's setback for President Barack Obama 's trade push, in which all but one Senate Democrat voted against bringing up trade legislation for a vote, underscores a much bigger debate playing out over economic policy in the president's party.

U.S. Posts Biggest Monthly Budget Surplus in Seven Years — Tax receipts surge; revenues post monthly record WASHINGTON-Tax receipts surged in April to generate the largest monthly U.S. budget surplus in seven years, the latest sign that climbing stock values, hefty corporate profits and rising incomes for wealthier Americans are improving the nation's budget picture. The U.S.

Real Time Economics

American Meritocracy Isn’t What It Used To Be, In Five Charts — Last week's WSJ/NBC poll found that Americans, by more than two to one, are more worried about their ability to get ahead financially than they are about the widening income gap. A new book by Robert Putnam, the Harvard University political scientist, delivers some detailed insights into what's behind those worries.
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May 26, 2015

RT @Reddy: ReCode, on being acquired by Vox Media: “It’s not a secret that being a smaller fish is really hard.”

May 26, 2015

RT @DavidSchawel: Jimmy John's going public. Next we'll have a chain of dry cleaners & nail salons cashing out.

May 26, 2015

@jamessaft Good point. New homes more expensive because homes are larger.

May 26, 2015

New home prices in the U.S. surpassed their 2006 peak for the first time last month on an inflation-adjusted basis

May 26, 2015

For the Jan-April period, US new home sales are running 23.7% ahead of last year's level

May 26, 2015

Lost decade: US home prices--unadjusted for inflation--are back to levels last seen in 2005

May 26, 2015

Q1 US home price gains from prior quarter: 2015: +0.8% 2014: +0.3% 2013: +2.8% 2012: +0.5% 2011: -2% 2010: -2.1% 2009: -3.9% 2008: -3.1%

May 26, 2015

US home prices up 4.1% for the year through March. Nationally, at least, a much less volatile picture:

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