Economists come to "Consensus" : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

i read somewhere that a bunch of economists came to a "consensus" that there would only be a .2% loss in the GNP due to Y2K diruptions. If nobody knows for sure wht'a going to happen what are they basing this figure on? and what do economists know about computer programming or embedded systems ?

-- S.E.Carlson (, October 04, 1998


I didn't see this. But, the only reason for such a figure is that they estimate the amount companies have estimated spending on remediation and determine what percentage of GNP this this. A lot of wall street genius types have said that such and such a company is spending $x million......but that's only a small fraction of their earnings, so it won't hurt the company.

These guys have based their predictions on everything working properly on January 1, 2000.

-- rocky knolls (, October 04, 1998.

Let's ask Melbourne, Australia if the economic impact of losing natural gas is 0.2& of their economy.

There's 365 days in a year, estimate .30% economic impact per day of lost business, a 0.2% impact means that their natural gas losses for a week should result in no more 5 hours of business lost in the whole city.

Yeah, right.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 05, 1998.

Australian Gas Shortage Worsens Wednesday, September 30, 1998; 2:30 p.m. EDT

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Stores began rationing bread Wednesday in Australia's second-most populous state, where a fire at a natural gas refinery has idled bakeries, dairies and a host of other businesses.

Some 1.4 million households also have been affected by the fire that killed two people and extensively damaged Esso's gas plant in the state of Victoria. The cutoff could last weeks.

The plant supplied more than 80 percent of the natural gas for Victoria, in southeastern Australia. Esso has so far been unable to determine the cause of the blaze.

``It is going to cost Australia ... in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars a day,'' state Premier Jeff Kennett said.

Safeway, the state's biggest supermarket chain with 138 stores, limited consumers to three loaves of bread on Wednesday. Other supermarket chains were considering rationing bread and milk.

Rationing has not been seen in Victoria since World War II.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of state residents took cold showers, and used electric griddles to cook.

The crisis spread to other states as well.

In South Australia, two of Australia's largest automotive companies, Holden and Mitsubishi, announced they were preparing for several days of lost production because of a lack of parts from Victoria.

-- just me (, October 05, 1998.

Economists guess. They just have the degrees to get attention for their guesses. I remember any number of silly economic predictions based on straight line projection of a trend. The silliest was the prediction that we would have gasoline prices at $5.00 per gallon by the year 1985, and that we would run out of crude oil before 1990. This was based on projection of gas prices as a continuing trend, and the crude oil projection was based on the fact that we had only ten years of proven reserves. Guess what - the US is the big consumer of gasoline and we just conserve if the price gets over $1.35 a gallon - what a shock!! Moreover we still have 7 to 10 years of proven crude oil reserves - it just isn't economical to prove them out further ahead than 10 years. I pointed out these facts to any number of folks at that time - and was told I was a fool - the real experts had spoken - I knew nothing about the problem and should just shut up as I was upsetting people who were storing gasoline and buying mopeds. (No I am not exaggerating - these things actually happened, the wifes uncle bought a Vesta and had 200 gallons of gas stored in barrels.) Of course others have problems with these projections too - I fought with many about the AIDS scare of the early 80's - AIDS was supposed to be the leading killer of heterosexuals by 92 or 93, and pointing out that there was no really powerful vector into the heterosexual community (most heterosexuals not practicing promiscious anal sex) just wasn't PC. I was called a fool, showed the same pronouncements by the same public official (Koop) many times, and was told I was not an expert on these matters and should just shut up as I was rocking the boat. Funny thing - a lot of the people who called me a fool now have a selective amnesia about these matters - they seem to have a lot of trouble remembering shouting at me and calling me an idiot. Now its time for the Y2K crisis, I have pointed out that much work being done is not being called Y2K work because the company involved has just decided to migrate from mainframe to WAN based software - and many people - such as myself - are assigned to Y2K remediation as a part time to full time thing but not counted as Y2K engineers because it isn't our job title - and some have started to call me an idiot .......

-- Paul Davis (, October 07, 1998.

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