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Mark Gilbert

If the Economy Is Shrinking, Why Is Everything Going Gangbusters?

Economists are struggling to explain the global outlook. Maybe it's better to ask someone in oil.

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Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

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Jed Clampett, patriarch of “The Beverly Hillbillies” (younger readers should click here for a family snapshot), had a ton of homespun common sense to compensate for his lack of book-learnin’. But it’s his good fortune, as detailed in the show’s theme tune, that may have endowed him with better insights into the current economic climate than the statistical models employed by the world’s economists: