Will we be able to learn anything from the Euro?

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Will we be able to learn anything from the introduction of the European single currency (the EURO) in electronic form on Jan 01 1999? How do you think the scale of the EURO project compares with the Y2K project? Will we be able to make more acurate predictions of Y2K disruptions in the light of any EURO disruptions in 1999?

-- Alex Berry-Hart (alex.berry-hart@tfseur.co.uk), December 02, 1998



I suppose there will be some parallels and no doubt problems will crop up.

The big difference I see is that the Euro has a sliding timeline for compliance (is it until 2002 for full compliance) so it's not like everything will collapse if not ready by Jan. 1st, 1999.

I think Europe has some more serious problems to worry about such as the ludicrous farm subsidies, the disgusting mold on the Stilton cheese, as well as the lack of decent competition for Sheffield Wednesday.

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), December 02, 1998.

Euro programming difficulties might give us some insight on Y2K but the Euro has a fallback plan. It's backed 15% by gold and the percentage can be changed as conditions warrant. If they have some launching problems, that % will probably rise, perhaps considerably. Our currency, on the other hand, is primarily backed by Easy Al and the Bubba Brigade. Rumor has it that Asian countries are considering their own gold backed currency and central bank of China has been an active buyer of gold and will probably buy some Euros as well. It's a fitting conclusion to the increasingly surrealistic '90's that the socialists and communists are drifting back to the gold standard while the allegedly capitalist West scorns it. Strange days indeed.

-- nope (abc@def.com), December 02, 1998.

Maybe there will be instructive parallels.

However, the fundamentals differ.

The euro is a political and economic construct introduced on a politically-determined schedule. It requires companies to change the way they have been doing business in certain regards. Theoretically at least, its schedule could be delayed through political decisions.

Y2K comes from the man-machine interface, spawned by fundamental differences between computer "thought" and human "thought". It arises from within the computers and basically did not have a political or economic origin. Its schedule is immovable.

Lots of differences, leading to differences in effects and disruptions.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), December 03, 1998.

From strictly programming standpoint, in some systems it will magnify Y2K problems and increase residual error. I expect some major problems in European financial computing as the Euro is introduced. Could well be some major disruptions in European stockmarkets. The effect on the U.S. should be indirect, however, it could tip our stockmarket into a kamakazi mode sooner rather than later.

-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), December 03, 1998.

We in North America probably won't learn anything from the Euro, but the smaller businesses in Europe which have been ignoring remediation at their peril, will.

They will find that the mega-corps will take advantage of their precarious positions as they fail or lose business from not being Y2k compliant and find themselves being bought out or merged. Seriously, do you really believe that Dutch Shell or Phillips has not considered the Millennium problem also. The large corps can make it difficult for the small companies if the power mainly stays up. Merger fever has started internationally and we will see more of it, especially in the resources industries.

With at least a dozen currencies to deal in, but new software to work in, there will need to be training and bugs ironed out for each business, but as they have several years to complete the transistion, we may find the remainder of the work gets postponed when the realisation of what is left to finish on Y2k hits home after Jan/99.

-- Laurane (familyties@rttinc.com), December 03, 1998.

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