John Shelburne
2 min readApr 14, 2020


A quick message from the letter M

The Magnificent M

Are you having trouble with choosing the right letter of the alphabet for your economic forecast? Did you know in 2008 that M was the most frequently used letter in economic forecasts? Why use L, U or the cliche V? M is the one letter in the alphabet that will make heads nod in agreement: these conditions are impossible to model.

The following are just a few benefits of the letter M:

Phonetically Superior

M is a sound that you hear or make after a delicious treat. mmmmmmm
What sound or word is associated with L? Loser, Lucky, Leningrad
What about U? Your Fault, Yours, You

Visual Appeal

The unique peak-valley shape of M will help support your forecast when the economy does the exact opposite of your model. Letters like U, V and L are traps that could force you to revise.

Pattern Interpretation

M will also give you more freedom with pattern detection in your charts.

Listen, we all know that no one has a clue when it comes to modeling these conditions, Jamie Dimon even said so:

“This is such a dramatic change of events, so there are no models that have done — dealt with GDP down 40%, unemployment growing this rapidly, and that’s one part. And also, no models have ever dealt with a government which is doing a PPP program which might be $350 billion and might be $550 billion. Unemployment, it looks like 30% to 40% of people on unemployment were of higher income than before they went on unemployment.”

Your not going to be able to model this one champ, play it safe and use M as your economic recovery letter.

This message was approved by the Council of Economists That Support Letters.