Paul-Arthur Asselin

002 - links





The terms and conditions now tied to CHIPS Act funding are not just bureaucratic mumbo‐​jumbo; they could actually undermine the subsidies' stated objectives. Most obviously, they’ll impose additional costs on subsidy recipients, potentially diverting finite resources–money, time, labor, etc.–away from producing more chips onshore and toward these other requirements.

As we’ve discussed (repeatedly), “Buy American” mandates are expensive and can add years to federal projects; Davis‐​Bacon rules inflate construction costs (especially following Biden administration changes); and restrictions on buybacks or dividends can prevent firms from optimizing their capital structure in the most cost‐​effective way (e.g., by switching from equity to potentially‐​cheaper debt). PLAs also can raise construction costs by mandating, among other things, the use of union labor, resources, and benefit/​pension plans. Childcare and “wraparound” services, DEIA and other “equity” initiatives, “environmental justice” plans, and other strings surely cost money too, as do the armies of employees that’ll be needed to demonstrate compliance with the subsidy award terms.

To the extent that semiconductor firms weren’t already doing this stuff (and if they were, then why mandate it?), requiring them to do so now will mean fewer corporate resources available for producing chips or engaging in new research and development. That’s particularly a concern right now, as the global semiconductor market’s recent collapse has already left major chipmakers more capital constrained (and cutting staff and investments) than they were just a year ago.


California’s new $20 minimum wage rule will exempt restaurants that sell bread, handing a lucrative break on wages to the Panera chain and one of Governor Gavin Newsom’s longtime allies

Jesse Livermore: “Reminder that the alternative to having markets allocate resources consensually based on economic incentives is to have politicians allocate them by force based on personal incentives”. (link)



REVIEW: Scaling People, by Claire Hughes Johnson by JOHN PSMITH


Elon Musk is not understood

REVIEW: The Cruise of the Nona, by Hilaire Belloc

Why Synopsys Bought Ansys (For $35 Billion) — interesting look into computer-aided engineering (CAE), a space I know very little about.

What Problems to Solve - By Richard Feynman

Field Report: Vitalia, The City of Life — Toby Shorin visits Vitalia (a pop-up city on Roatan Island focused on longevity science)

MGMT dropped a new album (Mother Nature is the highlight so far); getting into Interpol (start with Turn On The Bright Lights?)

Tyler Cowen reviews Dune 2—having just seen it, I largely agree.

How does Russia make missiles? - Rhodus Intelligence

The purpose of abstraction is not to be vague, but to create a new semantic level in which one can be absolutely precise -Edsger W. Dijkstra