Attempts to make supply chains “resilient” are likely to fail
- And they are likely to be costly
Napoleon Bonaparte did not have semiconductor supply chains in mind when he suggested that “the torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided". But his comment still rings true 200 years on. Governments and companies now say they want to protect themselves from disruptions, whether the vicissitudes of global markets or deliberate weaponisation by leaders like Vladimir Putin. They fear that at any moment China could try something similar, cutting the West off from crucial goods or components. In practice, however, the drive to rework supply chains will have vastly more costs than benefits.