Is concern about Y2K in the financial community going up? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This article reminds me of that old quote, "never believe a rumor until it's been officially denied."

SEC Chief Says U.S. In Good Shape On Y2K

(Last updated 12:55 AM ET March 7)

MIAMI (Reuters) - Corporate America is "in very good shape" to deal with the millennium bug and there is no need to stockpile food or head for the hills come Dec. 31, the top U.S. stock regulator said Saturday.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt was asked at a town hall forum in Miami to rate U.S. corporate preparedness to deal with the year 2000 computer bug.

On a scale of one to 10, with one being excellent and 10 representing "head for the hills," Levitt said, "I'd pick one. I really think we're in very good shape."

Levitt said, "corporate America by and large is doing a good job of protecting against Y2K... I think that in the United States, the major companies have spent the money, the time, to protect us."


Levitt cautioned that some companies would still have problems and said he was "not at all as confident" about international preparedness. But he said there was no need for Y2K panic.

"I have heard of people putting water and food in. That could feed on itself and create a much worse danger than the problem itself," he said.


-- Kevion (, March 07, 1999


Time for me to get some sleep. The hot link for the SEC Chairman's comments is...

-- Kevin (, March 07, 1999.

Looks like a thread on this has already been started at...

"SEC Chairman on 1-10 scale for Y2K"

-- Kevin (, March 07, 1999.

Lying politicians make me want to scream!

It is absolutely amazing to me that the chairman if the SEC would rate it a 1. How can he say this? My extensive y2k research has led me to the inevitable conclusion that problems are coming my way in 300 days.

Just one more doubletalking government figure to add to the confusion. How can the government leaders etc., not expect people to stockpile necessities when all we hear is doublespeak. Koskinen, Bennett, Dodd, and now this guy are all guilty of it.

It does not take a rocket scientist or computer whiz to look at the supply chain risks to us from outside the US. I am insulted by this guys contention that things will be just fine. I AM NOT AN IDIOT.

To the CIA spies that monitor this site. Tell your bosses to tell Koskinen, Bennett, and Dodd that I would appreciate a rational assessment and practical risk management advise from them with regard to y2k. I am not used to being treated like a child at my age.

I hope after this thing hits and if and when we recover, the politicians who mismanaged this whole debacle will get their due.

I do not appreciate this at all. The amount of time, energy, and money that it requires to get ready for a stupid oversight has me seeing red!

This double talk--bullsh*t has to stop. Tell the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- cantbelieveit (, March 07, 1999.

Don't hold your breath, cantbelieveit. Throughout history, people in positions of power have only told the truth when, by coincidence, it happened to be in *their* best interest. (It's a human trait. It's called sin.)

The only difference in this present generation is that the BS slingers have gotten noticeably more blatant and bold. However, the basics have not changed.

"Lying politicians," as you call them, are not oddities. They are the norm. Follow your own "extensive y2k research," as most folks on this forum are doing, and pray for your fellow citizens who actually believe the crap that's being dished out by Levitt, Koskinen, Dodd, etc.

-- rick blaine (, March 07, 1999.

If A. Levitt ever said what he really knew in a public forum, the major brokerages would be using him for shark bait the next day.
I wonder which month in 1999 he resigns for a "personal fulfillment pursuit".

-- Charles R. (, March 07, 1999.

Yes Kevin,

Concern about Y2K in the financial community is going up...

Just differently.


L.A. Times
Sunday, March 7, 1999

Development 'Lockdown' Predicted Before Millennium

http:// NS-doc-offset=0&NS-adv-search=0&

SAN FRANCISCO--Fear about what might lurk in the uncharted waters of the new millennium is leading some companies to postpone development of their computer systems and wait for the whole thing to blow over.

Some experts worry that the so-called "Y2K lockdown" could have a bite just as vicious as the Y2K Bug, as orders slow down in the high-tech industry, one of the biggest drivers of the world's economic growth.

High-tech has largely benefited from the business of preparing the world's computer systems for the Year 2000, a widespread bug that keeps computers from recognizing the "00" as the year, and either crashing or failing to work properly.

Software giant Microsoft Corp., for one, was riding on the boom, as many businesses rushed to upgrade software and computer systems before the turn of the millennium. But after turning in a stellar 75 percent profit in its most recent quarter, Microsoft turned "guarded" about the company's growth prospects in the year ahead, expecting a slowdown in Y2K upgrades. Chief Financial Officer Greg Maffei cited the "lockdown" and "the likelihood that organizations will reduce their non-Y2K-related IT spending," as key reasons for caution.


While Microsoft's concern is centered on the software world, there are signs that the lockdown could hit other sectors as well.

In an example of how this might work, global banking giant National Westminster said last week it has decided to freeze changes to the London-based company's computer systems between October 1999 and February 2000 to ensure a smooth transition.

In an enterprise as huge as NatWest, investment in new technology runs into hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and involves scores of projects, not just a few lines of dated computer code. NatWest said it had put 54 new high-tech retailing processing centers on hold while the bank sorts out Y2K-related projects.

"A lot of this (Y2K work) has come out of capital budgets," said economist Cynthia Latta of Standard & Poor's Corp. "Some companies have found Y2K costing more than they thought and they're running behind schedule."

Equally unsettling for the economy, if capital budgets have been raided for the relatively nonproductive work of fixing computers instead of investing in new growth, a more long-term drag could be forming. "It's hard to quantify," said Latta.

"We don't have a (U.S.) recession in our baseline, but we do have slow growth and possible recession early next year."

The consulting firm Forrester Research surveyed 50 major companies late last year and found that they will "buy more PCs over the next 12 months to rid themselves of aging equipment that could cause Y2K trouble." But then, with production lines churning at full tilt, "PC buying will fade," Forrester predicts.

The "buying fade" will happen late this year as the Y2K lockdown begins, says Forrester analyst Carl Howe, who did the much-cited survey.

"People have spent millions of dollars making themselves Y2K- compliant," said Howe. "They're not going to screw it up by buying more at the last minute. They may now just leave it and wait until next year."

The Forrester Y2K user survey "found that people are going into the lockdown phase in the middle of this year," Howe said.

"When that happens, any spending request is going to be looked at very closely to answer the question 'Is this going to make us more Y2K compliant or less?"'


But as corporate enterprises take an increasingly cautious approach to handling the Y2K problem -- amid worries about legal liabilities and system crashes -- the dramatic growth of the Internet is providing a counterbalance.

The so-called legacy systems, the aging mainframes, provide the biggest problem for the Y2K readiness experts.

Those computers use embedded coding written years ago, particularly in the now little-used languages like Cobol associated with mainframe computers. A lack of people trained in the virtually defunct Cobol has added to the problem.

But since the Web has largely been built over the past five years, it's considered far less fraught with Y2K threats -- indeed most new systems on the shelf now are mostly certified as bug-proof -- and it also holds the promise of fast-growing e-commerce.

The growth of great "Web farms," armies of small computer servers patched together at large Internet sites to handle millions of users, is helping drive the industry's growth.

Intel Corp., the largest chip maker in the world, underscored that growth potential last week when it told a conference it was shifting its product development to the Internet to capture the $1 trillion it expects from e-commerce by 2002. "The Internet," said Intel Executive Vice President Paul Otellini, "is as important to Intel's future as silicon was in our past."

In getting set to take on the new millennium, the fast-moving e- commerce boom is reminding people that time waits for no one -- even if it is a bit buggy.

"People are trying to gain competitive advantage in e-commerce," said Hambrecht and Quist analyst Walter Winnitzki.

"A lot of investment in infrastructure is going toward supporting that. There's some caution over Y2K, but companies have to keep moving forward."

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All Rights Reserved

-- Diane J. Squire (, March 07, 1999.

Small bleep on news last night concerning computers and wall street. "All is well so far".... figure's.

Sure makes it hard to talk to others about it. They see things like this and blow it off. Am having alittle luck. Several friends seem to be getting a little interested.

-- Moore Dinty moore (, March 07, 1999.

One reason that I am incredulous about the claims that Y2K will only be a "bump in the road," is that just about every statement by government officials and business leaders is positive. This is true about the global situation as well as the speaker's own area of responsibility.

Given that Y2K is such a large and insinuous problem and a year ago Senator Bennett was saying that we would be toast if we did not make rapid progress, I would expect more statements about possible or even probable failures. I am thinking of something similar to what is being said in the UK today.

I guess until a big failure, like an extended power outage or the bankruptcy of a major corporation, we will not start to hear truthful statements from the powers-that-be.

-- Incredulous (, March 07, 1999.

I meant insidious not insinuous.

-- Incredulous (, March 07, 1999.

If the financial community keeps reading articles like this then they'll remain fast asleep...

-- humptydumpty (, March 08, 1999.

Incredulous -

I like "insinuous". Has a Lewis Carroll flavor to it, implying perhaps "evil, stealthy, and supple infiltration, approach, or manner". Snakes slithering into bird's nests would be described as "making their insinuous way therein".

Mr. Koskinen has an insinuous way with the English language, methinks...

-- Mac (, March 08, 1999.

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