We're ok, they're not...what really happens?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Here's the scenario: On January 1, 2000 Canadian and American Banks have "made it" and are ready to continue doing business here in a fairly normal way. Their data bases are stable and secure. Let's assume that power and communications are ok and that the general public believes their money and bankable assets are safe so if there were bank runs, they're over.

Question: What happens if banks in some other countries did not "make it"? Let's say that major banks in Japan (the largest in the world apparently), China, other parts of South East Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, some parts of the Middle East perhaps Saudi Arabia, maybe a few in Western Europe and possibly Brazil and Italy don't make it in time. Do they stop operating for a time with their doors closed (short or long term)? Until when? What does that mean for the people and governments in those countries? What about the businesses in those countries? What about all the money deposited in those banks? It's mostly electronic, right? Is it just "lost"? What does that mean to the world's financial systems? And in the end, what does any of this mean to Canada or the U.S.A.? To my bank? To my employer? What might it mean to me? To my life? To my very ordinary, happy life?

I'm not arguing that this is going to happen and I'm not looking for reassurance. I'm asking "what if", and I have no expertise in this. As well, with all my daily research on Y2K, I don't see questions like this being asked.

-- Bob Greenhalgh (bobgreen@sprint.ca), January 28, 1999


Hi Bob,

Welcome to the Club. You know about systemic effects.

Those are big scary holistic questions, usually unspoken but, since you raised it: maybe little or nothing, maybe TEOTWAWKI. No one knows nor will we until time time has come.

Since you ask the question you already know some of the answer. Other ppl have come to similar understandings and have moved outa town.

Best bet.. be prepared and help others around you be prepared too since you need a society to survive.

-- Integrator (watching@the watchers.com), January 28, 1999.

Actually, this is the scenario I am planning for. I expect most things to work in the US, Canada & UK, but suspect there will be problems with financial "meltdown" and war.

If the "right-wing conspiracy nuts" have not led me too far astray, the global financial system is built on "faith". The US currency for example, rather than being backed by gold or silver now says "In God We Trust". The new Euro is quite similar (10% gold-backed?). Unfortunately, the system is dependant on an ever-growing money supply, which itself depends on an ever-growing debt. The money- supply *only* grows when the Reserve Banks issue debt. Since the world's currencies, by-and-large, are "debt instruments" (Federal Reserve Notes), if the global debt shrinks, the money-supply shrinks, and the system collapses. This is not a good thing...

If either Y2K problems in many countries, or financial collapse makes people desperate, they will do desperate things. Like wage war.

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@anonymous.com), January 29, 1999.


I have been preaching the dangers of what you have envisioned for a long time on this forun - go back through the Banking and general/awareness threads - the basic answer to your scenario IMHO is that the rest of the world will "take down" good 'ol uncle Sam (and by default Canada), and the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street (the Bank of England.) Think about it - international transfers of funds will have collapsed. What do we do - have Galleons sailing to and fro from the New World with dubloons? Maybe cocaine? OK beany babies?

Personally, my "money" will not be electronic, it will be precious metals, cash (maybe pounds, maybe dollars depending on if I go back to the UK), and "stuff" as George Carlin likes to say - supplies, food, water, guns n' ammo if in the USA, maybe a shotgun if in the UK (best I can do.)

My recommendations - stick on this forum - ask more questions. Go back through all the threads in Banking etc. Check out the goldbug fora on the net (you'll find them under Banking on this forum), get your money out of the system and convert it into what you think will be useful to you.

If this is a bump in the road (snowball's chance in hell) you can convert it back, use the supplies, donate to charity (my choice.) Logic dictates it will not be a bump in the road - over to you Bob.



Two digits. One mechanism. The smallest mistake.

"The conveniences and comforts of humanity in general will be linked up by one mechanism, which will produce comforts and conveniences beyond human imagination. But the smallest mistake will bring the whole mechanism to a certain collapse. In this way the end of the world will be brought about."

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, 1922 (Sufi Prophet)

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 29, 1999.

Great question Bob, And exactly why Y2k will have sucha negative impact. It is a systematic problem. Most people cannot get beyond "a compliant company". Personally I will curretnly do not, and will not have any electronic "money" until I see totally compliant and operating banks on the "other side". (I think I will be waiting a while)

-- Steve Watson (swatson1@gte.net), January 29, 1999.

Hi there:

I've been a bit reluctant to jump in today. One thread certainly stirred up a hornets nest.

Anyhow for whats it worth you guys. My husband and I are originally from the UK. We have two children both born here. We love this country and regard it as our home. Every time we leave for a vacation and return it never ceases to amaze me how proud and fortunate I feel to be able to live here. I spent the last summer in the UK for our children to spend time with their grandparents and to get a feel for where their father grew up. Although we had a great time it was nice to get back home to the USA. It was last summer that both my husband and I realised that we could never go back to the UK to live. Our children are American through and through and have deep roots here. We have close friends and live in a wonderful neighborhood where we know most of our neigbors well.

Then the seriousness of Y2K came surfing into our lives. We are now faced with the hardest decision we have ever had to make. My husband's parents do not have extended family to help and support them through what might prove to be a difficult time. They live on a farm in a farily remote area in the North of England. We have to be realistic and take a look at what options we have open to us. We currently live in a heavily populated suburb on the outskirts of Washington, DC. I don't fancy our chances if all hell breaks loose. We have, therefore, decided to go to the UK as originally planned for the millennium and see what happens. Meanwhile we are making preparations for three months here and shall add to that if need be.

I have a question for Andy (and anyone else if they care to reply) if he reads this:

You mentioned that you might go back to the UK. Do you have an assessment as to the likelihood of being able to get back through the middle of December? Do you see things becoming unstable enough to prevent us from leaving? What are you planning on doing? Do we play the wait and see game?

You'll have to excuse my lack of internet knowledge as to language usage, use of upper and lower case characters, etc. We've owned a PC for the past three years and the most I have ever used it for was playing "Myst" and sending the odd e-mail to my husband. Our children use it the most. They haven't had much luck lately, and find it quite funny to see me spending so much time surfing the net. I had been looking forward to playing my new Zelda 64 game that my children gave me for christmas in my spare time. However, that has remained in its box and I find myself spending more than my spare time surfing the net for Y2K information.

Anyhow I've strayed from the point and shall close this post and hope that someone reads it and can offer any insight they might have.

-- Carol (usa-uk@email.msn.com), January 29, 1999.

Hi Carol,

"You mentioned that you might go back to the UK. Do you have an assessment as to the likelihood of being able to get back through the middle of December? Do you see things becoming unstable enough to prevent us from leaving? What are you planning on doing? Do we play the wait and see game?"

I'm an old retired travel agency owner, but my sister is still in the biz. In the past you have always been able to book flights, reservations etc. 360 days out. She told me 2 weeks ago that she is unable to book anything on any airline at this point past Dec. 1, 1999. I checked with her yesterday and the status is the same, still unable to book past Dec. 1 although we're down to about 334 days till Jan. 1, 2000, which would make it a little over 300 days out to Dec. 1, 1999. I don't mean for anyone to jump to conclusions about this observation, although I do find it highly unusual that this inability to make a "normal" reservation transaction is now unavailable.

My advice to you, would be to contact your travel agent and tell her/him to book on the latest flight out you can make, and then watch to see if the airlines open up booking capiblities for a later date, and change it if you decide to go in the middle of December.


-- Cary Mc from Tx (Caretha@compuserve.com), January 31, 1999.

After a while, I get really tired of this "based on faith" mantra. It falsely implies that the system is based on smoke and mirrors and might vanish any moment as reality sets in.

Think: auto manufacturers invest in each new model 'based on faith' that people will buy them. They always have in the past, and this faith has always been justified. The banking system is based on this same faith -- the system works, it's worked for many centuries. Yes, we made the decision not to promise physical gold in exchange for fiat money. Almost nobody used this promise, since gold is less negotiable and has no real intrinsic value for most of us either. The decision to stop making this offer made no visible economic difference to anybody.

90% of startup businesses go broke within two years, and those who start them have faith that they'll succeed, otherwise they wouldn't try. Anytime you try to project into the future, you're exercising this same kind of faith. It isn't artificial.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), January 31, 1999.


Thanks for the input. In the past we have used ETN over the net to book our tickets. The last time I tried I couldn't get any projected flights past November either. I shall take your advice and get in touch with a travel agent tomorrow.

Thanks again and good luck to you and yours.

-- Carol (usa-uk@email.msn.com), January 31, 1999.

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