Betting Without Money

Ex-AMD head Hector Ruiz recently visited the site where AMD may build its next fab.  Then he went to the nearby race track.  How fitting.

The locality where the fab is to be located is busy spending a lot of money making the infrastructure improvements necessary for the fab, roads, expanded sewage plants and water pipelines.  They’re committed to over $150 million in expenditures to do these things, truly displaying the audacity of hope.  Yet AMD still will not commit. 

What did Hector have to say about all this?  From the article describing the visit

“Ruiz . . . said the site was beautiful.   AMD has until next summer to formally commit to build the plant and still receive $1.2 billion in state incentives. But Ruiz said a decision could be made by the end of the year. He said he couldn’t think of any reasons why AMD wouldn’t build the plant.”

Well, I guess AMD won’t back out of this deal because the place is ugly.

Hector can’t think of any reasons why AMD wouldn’t build the plant?  For those not versed in the dark arts of AMDese, that sounds like a commitment, and there is no reason to believe that AMD does not want to build the fab or wants to build it elsewhere.  

However, this is not the issue.   Sure, AMD would want a new fab, just like you would want a new computer, car or house.  In both cases, the bottom line isn’t what you would do, but what you could do, and that almost always means being able to pay for it, one way or another.   Lack of money would seem to be a rather obvious reason comprehensible to those lacking super-Hector intelligence for the fab not to be build, but I guess that in AMDese that would be a reason why AMD couldn’t build the plant, and “couldn’t” is a different word than “wouldn’t.”  Sorry, but these are the word games these guys like to play.   

Then again, in all fairness, Mr. Ruiz is now the ex-head of AMD in large part because he had great difficulties understanding the difference between wanting something (like ATI) and being able to afford it.    

Right now, AMD certainly doesn’t have the money to pay for a new fab and they certainly don’t have anyone ready to lend or otherwise provide them the money to do so, either.  They almost certainly are trying, probably desperately to spin-off or otherwise rearrange assets to somehow get the money for this fab, but they just as certainly have been trying to do this for a year, and no fish have bitten, yet.  From Mr. Ruiz’s comments and a few other AMD statements, maybe they have a fish hooked or at least staring at the hook and they think they can reel it in by the end of the year.  Or maybe there will be some other forms of financial finagling creative financing that will free up enough money to commit.  Or if that doesn’t work out, maybe Obama and his New York political buddies (and maybe even Hillary Clinton ) might want to help New York State bring some high-tech jobs back home to America.  Or something else even more secretive. 

Or maybe the secret is there is no secret, or at least not one very likely to pan out.  Maybe the secret is “we’re hoping for better times and kinder, gentler lenders/investors.”  We just don’t know.  I doubt even Ruiz knows much better; of course he’ll know many more details, but he doesn’t, probably can’t know how well whatever AMD is trying to do will pan out. 

What can be said is that some New York Staters are betting considerable amounts of money now on a horse that can’t run now, and may not be able to run next year.  And this is a bet where if the horse ends up being scratched, you don’t get your money back.  

I just hope it doesn’t end up being a sucker bet.      






About Ed Stroligo 95 Articles
Ed Stroligo was one of the founders of in 1998. He wrote hundreds of editorials analyzing the tech industry and computer hardware. After 10+ years of contributing, Ed retired from writing in 2009.

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