Facts and figures on corporate Y2K unpreparedness

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I saw some info today by Dr. Ed Yardeni at Gary North's site. Yardeni has analyzed the 3rd Quarter SEC reports and sounds pessimistic. Here are two key quotes:

"Fully 33% of the companies I surveyed spent less than one-third of their budgets so far."

"In the utility sector, only 5 of the 34 companies in my survey claim to have spent more than 50% of their budget. And 10 of these have spent less than 20%!"


I asked around Thanksgiving time why awareness was going up so much. It turns out it wasn't the pending bombshell of "Good Samaritan" law disclosures on December 3rd.

I'd bet it's the SEC filings. People "in the know" are really starting to know.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), December 09, 1998


A simple act of preparation awareness, would be to encourage your local investigative reporters to study their utility companies SEC 10- Q filings, for starters. Especially in the light of lessons learned in the San Francisco Blackout.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 09, 1998.

Diane: You may be a little "airy-fairy" ("Can't we all just get along?) But I have seen a lot of your posts, and you are a sharp cookie.

-- y (z@x.com), December 09, 1998.

For what it's worth: On Yardeni's T-Minus 400 Days Conference, Steve Steinbrecher of CALSCIO (and Contra Costa County) reports that 70% of their Y2K costs went for testing. Overtime and weekends, coffee, pizza. He said his team had Thanksgiving off, but was in the weekend- and that they do most of their testing on weekends. We know several people involved in remediation projects and they are putting in 70 hr. weeks- indefinitely. Let's hope those companies really are now testing! Maria

-- Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com), December 09, 1998.

We MIGHT find out, in, lets see 12/9 going on 10, um 3 weeks. If we're fortunate and if the co's and agencies decide to tell the truth.

chuck, NOT holding his breath!

-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 09, 1998.

The 10-Q reports can be helpful to a degree, but there are a number of shortcomings. As Kevin and Ed Yardeni pointed out, many companies are not revealing the true amount they are currently spending be cause they don't want shareholders to get nervous about how this will affect their bottom line. This can be done quite easily by using accounting methods which "postpone" the actual expenses. In addition, a few weeks ago Senator Bennett pointed out that the SEC is not investigating anyone except brokerage houses because the main concern of the players at the SEC is to keep Wall Street running. Sorry to be cynical but if all of the other businesses start going beserk from Y2K that is the ideal scenario for the sharks on Wall Street. Some of the hugest companies are somehow getting around the whole 10-Q thing, as I do not even find their reports. The fines are so minimal that huge companies will be better off to accept the fine than to reveal their true costs of Y2K. Haven't heard anything yet about what resulted from Bennett's inquiry into this situation, have any of you? Maybe they made a campaign contribution if he agreed to go hide in a closet or something - who knows. Golden Rule: He who has the gold rules. All we can do is wait and hope that Y2K will be the Achilles Heel of these Godzilla corporations, finally bringing them down.

-- infoman (infoman@web.com), December 09, 1998.

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