The deepest economic crises are also crucibles for new economic thinking. The Depression led to Keynesian macroeconomics. The second world war cemented support for the welfare state and the mixed economy. The inflationary 1970s and the oil shocks propelled free-market ideas to power.

We should expect the coronavirus pandemic, which amounts to the greatest peacetime economic disruption in living memory, also to lead to big shifts in the consensus on what is good economic policy. To see the direction of change, look to that guardian of economic orthodoxy, the IMF.

Every year, in the lead-up to its annual meetings — the 2020 forum is about to start — it publishes the “analytical chapters” of its flagship publications. The growth forecasts issued at the meetings are what will hit the headlines. But the underlying analyses often provide deeper insight into changing economic conditions and the shifting realities of economic policymaking.

IMF

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Prepared by Chris

We recently started buying in the most-hated sector in the market right now, which of course is energy. In fact, we are approaching overweight as we have been buying heavily in the last two weeks. Sure, demand is poor right now. Supply is ample. It is not going to turn around tomorrow, but for the medium to long term, in the mid-$30 range, we believe that Exxon Mobil (XOM) is a strong buy.

Make no mistake about it. Exxon Mobil has survived every major downturn in energy and emerged stronger each time. While pricing impacts revenues, expect Capex spending to focus on bringing new projects on-line, but these can be cut and done so dramatically if the situation worsens. With this flexibility, as we move forward, we expect substantial improvement in all segments, as oil prices have stabilized and started to rebound.

Investors will be further paid

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