Publications: Notes at the Margin

It's Refining, Stupid! (June 13, 2022)


James Carville, the political strategist who improbably boosted the little-known Arkansas governor Bill Clinton to the White House in 1992, famously used the line “It’s the economy, stupid!” as the defining message of Clinton’s campaign. Clinton beat the incumbent, George H.W. Bush, by emphasizing the seemingly sad state of the US economy after the 1991 Iraq War. Here, we borrow from Carville and introduce the phrase “It’s refining, stupid!” to explain to readers that begging for increased crude production from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or other producers will not solve the problem in today’s oil market.


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