Semi Security - Hate it or love it, the CHIPS Act is a thing, and it ain't going away. After yesterday's signing ceremony, we can't stop thinking about some of the ironies in and around the new law.
Ironically, Congress has passed two bills in the last couple of weeks that promise to shell out more than a trillion bucks during the worst inflation in over forty years, and one of the bills has inflation in the name. But I digress.
The CHIPS Act is a big deal, like with a capital B for many billions of dollars of government spending.
The White House has said that the size of this investment is more or less the same scope as the decade-long effort to put a man on the moon. One thing that leaves me scratching my head is that the White House thinks that the bill will have roughly the same impact for the American public as that effort.
I personally think this is hilarious because there are loads of people who think that the moon landing and subsequent giant leap for mankind never happened. I'm not sure who is more wrong: Americans who don't believe NASA's archives or those who think that the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act are deflationary.
Roughly 25% of the CHIPS Act is incentives for bringing manufacturing of semiconductors to the States. Micron, Qualcomm, Intel, and other big chipmakers have already latched on to provisions within the bill, and I'm sure that more big names will attempt to get their hands on these government handouts in the coming months.
The other 75% of the bill more or less just bloats the federal government. It's kind of like that period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas where you're "mentally preparing" for your dry January and New Year's diet but "physically gorging" on every dessert, cocktail, and heavy holiday meal in sight.
The goal of this CHIPS Act: secure our supply chains. National security in this country depends on secure supply chains, specifically when it comes to the advanced technologies used in the defense and national security spaces.
In the days after Crazy Nancy's visit to Taiwan, the Chinese have been throwing a bit of a sh*t fit. Firing missiles and rockets, violating the Taiwan ADIZ, and generally acting like an upset toddler after the Speaker declared her lifelong emotional connection to China because her parents told her she could dig a tunnel to it as a child.
These military exercises and live-fire maneuvers have tipped Beijing's hand. Not that the intelligence world didn't already know this, but in the event of a re-unification event, the PRC will absolutely pursue a blockade and likely a subsequent no-fly zone in the region.
This is a geopolitical risk to the semiconductor supply chain. But that's the devil that you know.
The devil that you don't know is China's covert influence on semiconductor production in Taiwan via corporate espionage, cybercrime, and other nefarious forms of subversion.
This isn't a conspiracy theory. The world is waking up and finally starting to consider China as a real threat, both economically and militarily.
For those of you looking to learn more, here's a rare book recommendation from The Daily Peel: Stealth War by Rob Spalding. This isn't an affiliate link, and I'm not getting a cut of your purchase.