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03.26.2021 by David M. Smith

Is the Senate Filibuster Rule in Jeopardy?

The Biden administration is preparing its next policy moves and may try to keep going big. The President is said to be emboldened by successfully passing the COVID stimulus bill which had wide popularity. No Republicans voted for that bill. In the current environment, it seems almost impossible for the President to obtain ten Republican Senate votes on even small policy changes, let alone big policy moves. So, if the President wants to pass impactful initiatives on infrastructure, climate change, taxes, or voting rights it makes eliminating the filibuster very tempting. Axios If the filibuster rule goes to the wayside, there could be more massive government spending in the near future, along with higher taxes. At least one publication has changed its tune on the filibuster and thinks America would be better off without it. The Economist

What Me Worried? With all the government stimulus, investors have started to worry about inflation which has been reflected in rising bond yields the last couple of months. But this week, Jerome Powell stated he does not anticipate a big uptick in inflation from the government stimulus. He felt inflation would rise, but citing the disinflationary trend of the last twenty-five years, it would not persist long-term. Bloomberg

What is Driving Escalating Home Prices? An iconic home with surrounding properties on the coast of NH is on the market for a whopping $25M! It is a record listing price for the state and more reminiscent of Beverly Hills, CA and Greenwich, CT than the Granite State. What’s fueling the current real estate boom? Record low mortgage rates, buyers with plenty of cash, and a dearth of inventory. In Rockingham County, NH, there are 67% fewer houses listed for sale in 2021 versus 2020. Similar inventory problems exist across the country playing a large role in rising home values. It could take a while for supply-demand to come into balance and rates to significantly rise, which means high home prices may be here for a while. Seacoastonline WSJ

Tax Deadline Extended to May 15th but April 15th is Still Significant: An extra month has been added to the tax filing deadline, but the IRS has yet to extend the date for IRA or HSA 2020 contributions. Those contributions still have to be made by April 15th. For those who make quarterly estimated tax payments, those are still due by April 15th as well. And while the IRS pushed back the federal deadline, many states have not. Check with your tax preparer with questions about filing to avoid pitfalls. CNBC

Quick Hits for the Week:

  • High-end winery Duckhorn went public on the NYSE with the symbol NAPA: Wine Spectator
  • …and 10 great wines to transition from winter to spring: Forbes
  • The world’s first space hotel may be up and running by 2027: CNN
  • Finland, once again, is ranked as the world’s happiest country: Forbes
  • The water on Mars may not have evaporated into space and may still be there: Scitechdaily

Ultra-Processed Foods are Ultra-Bad: A long-running study has concluded that consuming ultra-processed foods, which comprise up to half the American diet, can lead to a higher incidence of heart disease and death. Every additional serving a day leads to a 7% increase in risks. Ultra-processed food is industrial produced food with minimal or no whole foods and produced with additives, flavorings, and preservatives. Examples include processed meats, salty snack foods, and low-calorie soft drinks. Time to gravitate back to whole foods and grab an apple! US News

The Health Benefits of Silence: Loud noises from planes, trains and traffic could be bad for your health. But scientists and producers of products are touting the benefits of less noise or even silence. Noise cancellation technology is already showing up in cars by making them more soundproof. But over time there may be more advanced technology which could even lead to the ability to flick a light switch to cancel out all the noise in a room. A little more peace and quiet not only sounds nice but may be good for you! WSJ

Quote: “You got to kill the person you were born to be in order to become the person you want to be.” From the movie Rocketman

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