Pro Perspectives 8/2/22

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August 2, 2022

In late June, we stepped through the events that came out of a week of G7 and NATO meetings.
The week was littered with World War 3 flashpoints.
The U.S. and G7 allies banned imports of gold from Russia.  That was soon followed by a Russian debt default, forced by the asset freeze and banking sanctions (transactional restrictions) placed on Russia from the Western world.  
Next, NATO announced plans to increase “troops on high-readiness” from 40,000 to 300,000
Then the the G7 included in its communique that they would phase out Russian oil, and in the meantime, threatened price caps on Russian oil imports (which would only further limit global supply, and increase prices).   
Then Finland and Sweden signed an agreement paving the way to join NATO. 
Putin had already warned that he would respond (in kind) if NATO were to deploy military and infrastructure in these bordering countries (Finnish land border, and Swedish maritime border.  Biden then announced that the U.S. will ramp military presence in Europe by opening a permanent army base in the Poland (formerly controlled by Russia and flashpoint of WW2).
So, with all of this, we asked, is this flexing a position of strength to deter or to provoke?
Now we have this Pelosi trip to Taiwan. 
With all of the noise surrounding it, there hasn’t been a stated purpose for the trip.  Of course, Xi has warned that a visit by Pelosi would be playing with fire.  
So, again, is this a move to expose China’s bluff/tough talk, or is it to provoke some retaliatory response?
Keep in mind, this is an administration that has refused to call the Chinese government an enemy, instead calling it a “tough competitor.” 
What’s the plan?   
The timing:  This comes on the heels of the quick emergence and advancement through Congress of the coveted the democrat agenda (Build Back Better) late last week.  Within a new government spending deluge is the Chips Act, which includes $52 billion for chip makers.  Taiwan Semiconductor is already in the process of building chip manufacturing in Arizona, with the view of this money coming down the pike.
With TSM producing 90% of the world’s “advanced” microchips, Taiwan has been critical to the economic and national security of both the U.S. and China. 
Is Pelosi there to offer more incentives to move more TSM production to the United States?  Maybe.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the chart on TSM …  

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