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A Message From Our Founder

Sometimes you just get tired of doing things the way everyone else does them. That's what happened to me in 2023.

 

I spent 12 years working as an economist and advisor at major public policy institutions, on Wall Street, and with some of the biggest corporations in the United States. I presented economic outlooks, data, and research to C-suite executives and leadership teams across the country. And every step of the way, the same question dogged me: That’s nice and all… but what does it mean for my business?

It’s a fair question. Economics is a profession that is often inward-looking and insular. We use statistical models and mathematical theories to analyze events in real-time and make predictions about what they mean for the future. We take data and extrapolate out what it means for the next two, three, four quarters, peppering in scenarios, probabilities, and confidence intervals to account for the inherent risk in any kind of predictive work. We talk and argue amongst ourselves about who has a better take, and a few weeks later, we do it all again.

 

It's mostly academic, and it makes for interesting discussions—especially in periods of volatility and attention-grabbing headlines like we have today. But here’s the uncomfortable truth: it’s an add-on service that informs but doesn’t help make better business decisions.

The executives I’ve met and worked with over the years are all asking themselves the same questions. Should we be prioritizing profitability today or investments in the future? Is now the time to hire or downsize? Should we bring our team back to the office or commit to a distributed workforce? You can draw a line between every one of these questions and the state of the economy. Yet economists rarely engage in these conversations. We turn away from genuine questions—like What does it mean for my business?—and fall back on jargon and caveats.

It’s a missed opportunity—for the economics profession, and for the business community. 

The pieces fell into place for me during my time as a chief of staff to a busy CEO. It’s a job that’s all about repackaging disparate information into tangible insights. It’s about making decisions off imperfect information, while building in enough organizational resilience to pivot when necessary. It’s about balancing tradeoffs and solving for real-world problems.

I soon realized that if I wanted to be a better economist, I needed to think like a chief of staff. So I started ripping pages out of every presentation and slimming decks down from 40 to 10 slides. I meticulously deleted jargon from every text box and paragraph. And when I sat down to discuss the economy, I made sure to do it as if I was sitting at a dinner table—not standing at a lectern.

The feedback was quick and unanimous: give us more. 

That’s why I founded Access/Macro. Yes, we use models and analysis to forecast economic variables and craft narratives about the future of our economy. But our mission goes far beyond that. We use data and research as the foundation for a larger conversation about your goals. We cut through the noise to frame the economy in a way that helps you make hard business decisions. And we zero in on what you can control, so you can confidently get from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow—no matter what the economy throws at you.

We’re doing something that’s different from the way everyone else does it. And I couldn’t be more excited.

Tim Mahedy

Founder & Chief Economist

Access/Macro

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