Neil Collins

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It’s all Greek to Taiwan Semi’s boss

June 19, 2009

I do hope that Morris Chang, the recently-returned chief executive of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, knows more about making chips than he does about the theatre. He’s quoted in Friday’s FT as likening the economic downturn to a Greek tragedy.

The first act was the financial crisis, the second the global economic slowdown. “In the end” he says, “there must be a third act, recovery.”

He should get out more. A Greek tragedy is a play where the principal players find that their actions come back to bite them in ways they can’t avoid. Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge for journalists, defines it as “a form of  art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure.”

The rather more cerebral Classics technology Center defines it as a play where the hero suffers serious misfortune as a result of his own actions. If it’s any consolation for Chang, it adds that “there are tragedies in which a satisfactory solution of the tragic situiation is attained.”

So as the curtain rises on the third act, the audience is gagging to know whether the hero has had his chips…