Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Forbes -- Rich Karlgaard
Iran and China -- Black Swans No One Mentions

These two black swans get little attention precisely because they are real black swans – low probability risks with gigantic consequences.

Black Swan #1

Hackers Seriously Disrupt the U.S. Power Grid

Consider the U.S. power grid. The electricity grid is the engine that powers all mechanisms of commerce and civilization in the U.S. Should this engine fail, all dependent activities immediately cease to function, including water and sanitation, the food supply chain, financial institutions, healthcare, media, transportation and law enforcement.

Black Swan #2

China Grabs Taiwan for TSMC

There is, however, one critical exception to China’s tech prowess. China, in 2020, and likely for the next three to five years at least, is not world-class at manufacturing chips. (See here, here, and here to learn more.) Now, China can steal IP, but it’s much harder to steal a 3-nanometer fab plant that will cost $20 billion to build. Of the world’s companies that are world-class – including Intel and Samsung – none are in China. Perhaps the best of the bunch is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC as it is known.