JPM Cuts Q1 GDP: Warns "Here We Go Again" As "It Is Feeling Eerily Like Q1 Of Last Year"

"In light of the data we've received this week – January reports for real consumer spending, construction spending, and net exports that varied from disappointing to downright weak, as well as a softer February print for car sales –-- we are marking down our tracking for annualized real GDP growth in Q1 from 2.5% to 2.0%. Even after this revision risks are more skewed to the downside than upside. By way of comparison, the Atlanta Fed's tracking estimate of Q1 recently came down to 1.2%. It's still relatively early in the quarterly data flow, even so, it is feeling eerily like Q1 of last year. In both cases the quarter began with high expectations, estimates were brought down as the quarter progressed, weather was blamed, but most forecasts remained upbeat on the medium-term outlook."

- JPM

Greece Proposes To Become A Tax-Collecting Police State: Will "Wire" Tourists And Unleash Them As "Tax Inspectors"

"We propose the following: that large numbers of non-professional inspectors are hired on a strictly short-term, casual basis (no longer than two months, and without any prospect of being rehired) to pose, after some basic The very 'news' that thousands of casual "onlookers" are everywhere, bearing audio and video recording equipment on behalf of the tax authorities, has the capacity to shift attitudes very quickly, spreading a sense of justice across society and engendering a new tax compliance culture - especially if combined with the appropriate communication of the simple message that the time has come for everyone to share the burden of public services and goods."

- Yanis Varoufakis

Alan Greenspan Warns Stocks Are "Without Doubt Extremely Overvalued"

While America 'believes' it is highly productive, former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan instantly dispels that myth in another ominous appearance on CNBC this morning, "American productivity has gone nowhere in the last few years," and that is what is holding back wage growth. Furthermore, reiterating his concerns about the inverse relationship between surging entitlements and weak savings rates, Greenspan noted, "the annual rate of increase in entitlements of 9% per year...and the people that receive it believe they are getting their money back and have a right to it." There simply is no long-term investment as businesses favor short-term actions as the Maestro explains Fed QE lowering the real rate of interest "has been responsible for the rise in P/E multiples... and when rates normalize, that will reverse," adding that "we can't argue that we are extremely overvalued in the marketplace."

Lumber Is Liquidating

The most economically-sensitive commodity is plunging once again. Lumber prices have cratered today to their lowest since June 2013, seemingly tracking the collapse in US Macro data over the last 2 months. First it was Lumber Liquidators, and now the underlying is seeing the biggest weekly drop in six months (and down 5 weeks in a row). As a reminder, the last time lumber and stocks diverged like this... it did not end well...

Every German Bund Will Soon Trade At -0.20%, Citigroup Predicts

The ECB’s move to restrict PSPP purchases to sovereign bonds with yields at or above the deposit facility rate (-20bps) has far reaching implications for the German bund curve. Citi's prediction: bunds will be bought until yields converge on -0.20bps.

Rig Count Decline Re-Accelerates To 2nd Biggest Drop In 22 Years

Following last week's slowing in the pace of rig count, crude prices dropped and then spiked, and it makes today's data under more scrutiny. At around $49.50, WTI prices have round-tripped back almost perfectly to the scene of the crime before today's rig count data hit. The total oil rig count dropped almost 6%, down 75 to 1,192 meaning a re-acceleration of the rig count decline and the 2nd biggest drop since 1993. WTI prices popped on the news and are fading back now...

Who Knew What When In Gold & Stocks This Morning?

Gold trading this morning had some oddities. This was more than the normal shenanigans as just before the official release time of 0830ET, gold started to drop then accelerated past the official release time. But... the actual headlines hitting news wires were delayed because of the lack of lock-up and as is clear below, the 'real' selling did not start until those headlines hit. So was this auto-algo selling at 0830 no matter what to ensure markets got the message... or did someone get the unlock-up'd headlines 'earlier' than everyone else?

Stocks Re-Tumble To Fresh Lows, Erase All March Gains

As the Goldman Apple Industrial Average drops below 18,000, the cash-open bounce in stocks has now been erased and the major US equity indices are making fresh lows. Despite AAPL's gains, the Nasdaq is now red for March and the S&P 500 down 1%...

Despite Tsipras Complaining That "ECB Has Rope Around Our Neck" Greece Finds Enough Cash To Make IMF Payment

While the biggest economic event of the week was the US February jobs report, one of the lingering concerns following last week's report that Greece is in financial dire straits, is whether the Eurozone member nation would default on its IMF loan as soon as today when it had a scheduled €310 million payment due to the IMF. Earlier today, in the build up to the NFP report, it was reported that indeed Greece had managed to dig deep under the cushion and find just enough cash to make the required partial loan repayment thus avoiding a technical default.  As Reuters reports, "struggling to scrape together cash and avoid possible default, Athens made a 310 million euro (223.37 million pounds) partial loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund, while Tsipras pleaded to be allowed to issue more short-term debt to plug a funding gap."

Did The BLS Again Forget To Count The Tens Of Thousands Of Energy Job Losses?

A month ago we asked if the "BLS Forget To Count Thousands Of Energy Job Losses" when as we showed, the BLS reported that only 1,900 jobs were lost in the entire oil and gas extraction space, which was a vast underestimation of what is taking place in reality, when compared to not only corporate layoff announcements, but what Challenger had reported was going on in the shale patch, when it calculated that some 21,300 jobs were lost in January in just the energy sector.  Today we ask again: did the BLS once more forget to add the now tens of thousands of jobs lost in the US energy sector? We ask because the divergence is getting, frankly, ridiculous.

Why No Wage Increases: More Than Half Of Jobs Added In February Were Lowest-Quality, Lowest-Paying

The three biggest single-category jobs added in February (because Professional services includes numerous occupations), were also the three lowest quality, lowest paying ones:

Leisure and Hospitality, added 66K jobs
Education and Health added 54K
Retail trade added 32K

Together these three job categories accounted for 152K jobs, or more than half the total February job gains. They also represent the lowest paid jobs in the US.

Warren Buffett - Lucky Coin Flipper?

Last week, Buffett moved the goalposts.  If money were what really matters, Warren Buffett would have no peer. He has had unparalleled success in this world; surely he has a first-class ticket to the next. And if his good fortune were of his own making, what would he have to fear? But what if fortune, which smiled on him so broadly for so many years, begins to frown?

Goldman Payroll Post-Mortem: Fed Will Modify Forward Guidance, Possible June Rate Hike

Payroll employment continued to grow at a strong pace, exceeding consensus expectations. The unemployment rate fell due to lower participation. With the final employment report in hand before the upcoming FOMC meeting, we think the Committee will modify its forward guidance on March 18. Our forecast remains for the first hike in the fed funds rate to occur in September, but today's data affords the possibility of a hike as early as June

Post-Payrolls Reaction: Stocks, Bonds, Commodities Drop, Dollar Pops, As "Good News Is Bad News"

When the better-than expected headline data hit, stocks briefly questioned its reality then plunged. Bond yields initially tumbled (before the number had hit newswires) but once it did, they soared back higher (now up 6-8bps on the day). Crude plunged, bounced, and re-plunged as most commodities are notably lower amid the surge in the US Dollar. Good news, it appears is really bad news as a boxed-in Fed will be forced to raise rates.

Americans Not In The Labor Force Rise To Record 92.9 Million As Participation Rate Declines Again

For those (very few now, with even the Fed admitting the unemployment rate has become a meaningless, anachronistic relic) still wondering why the unemployment rate dropped once again, sliding from 5.7% to 5.5%, the reason is that while the number of unemployed Americans dropped by 274K thousand while those employed rose by 96K, the underlying math is that the civilian labor force dropped from 157,180 to 157,002 (following the major revisions posted last month), while the people not in the labor force rose by 354,000 in February, rising to a record 92,898,000 (people who currently want a job rose to 6,538K) matching the all time high number of Americans not in the labor force.