A Bump in the Road!

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

OK, for the sake of some "balance" here, let's suppose that the dice take a favorable bounce and we come up with a genuine Y2K "Bump in the Road."

How much is it going to cost?

Who's going to pay for it?

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), March 17, 1999


How much? cannot even guess

Who's going to pay? easy answer - We all are. We will pay through higher prices, and our taxes.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), March 17, 1999.

Before or after the lawyers get involved? <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 17, 1999.

Thanks for the reminder that all incompetence is/will be paid for by the consumer. Y2k is an expensive, yet unheeded lesson in the gullibilty of consumers and businesses to accept shoddy products and practices. A trillion dollar monument to stupidity.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), March 17, 1999.

This may surprise some, but given your premise, won't cost much of anything, at least tangibly. First, a lot of the money being spent is being transferred throughout economy, it's not literally going down a hole.

Second (again accepting your premise), a bump will imply that Y2K fixes undoubtedly tightened existing systems, as does indeed seem to be the case for the few players who took Y2K seriously.

To me, the real cost will be to the rare opportunity Y2K affords culturally of "waking up" from our technology sleep and beginning to choose technology rather than merely suffer it. 'Course, there is no guarantee and little likelihood that even Y2K impact will slap us awake in a positive direction, but there is at least a chance.

In other words, a bump will SEEM to be a confirmation of the rightness of doing business-as-usual. Among other things, it is likely to speed the command-centralization-control process that is rightly feared, NOT ONLY by Yourdonites, but by hundreds of millions of "ordinary folks" around the world. That might turn out to be a worse long-term consequence for humane society than TEOTWAWKI would have been.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 17, 1999.

Wait a second BigDog! I'm certainly no financial genius but it still seems clear that if I'm the CFO of a company that spends roughly a billion dollars (Citibank, for example) and in return gets mainly the ability to stay in business, I'm going to have to come up with some pretty effective ideas about how to replace that money!

Sure, the money didn't go down a black hole; someone got it, but my stockholders (read, board of directors) isn't likely to give two cow doots who got it. They're likely going to want to know how I'm going to "make my numbers". I'll bet those numbers will be pretty tangible too!

We are in agreement about the "tightening" of systems and the cultural effects of such an event, but I can't swallow the, ". . .won't cost much of anything, at least tangibly" evaluation. However; I'm sure that it makes sense to you and did so when you wrote it. Will you explain your perspective?

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), March 17, 1999.

Well the cost is over 600 Billion from What I read! So ofcorse the tax people will pay.... And if we're lucky we'll get to pay it with higher taxs! If we're not lucky were in deep do do ): I can just imagine the cost from now till 00 then if we were to muddle trough some how... ( I have no idea how we could ) the cost after 00 would be mind boggling..

Everyone have a great day :)

-- Susan (we@alwayspay.net), March 17, 1999.

Hardliner --- Hey, leave the cow doots to us folks here in dairy country! Speaking as a certified financial genius, I was thinking of macro effects, not micro (that is, per company). I quite agree with your CFO analogy, though again with the caveat that we're assuming the Y2K fixes WORK (bump), which will translate derivatively into higher efficiency (tho, I admit, I wouldn't want to push that too far), perhaps mainly through replaced, modernized hardware rather than software.

No, I take what I said back and this might even add a new wrinkle to the thread. If Y2K is a bump, the companies who will be justified are those who treated it FROM THE START as relatively insignificant (think Japanese banks), no? So maybe the cost of Y2K-as-bumo will indeed by punishingly heavy on the good corporate citizens who poured the bucks into it?

Hey, now I'M GETTING confused. 'Course, that's nothing new.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 17, 1999.

Yes Big Dog,

An extension of the command-centralization-control system should be feared as much as Y2K.

Life without liberty can be utterly miserable and can lead to being just one of a mass of living dead.

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 17, 1999.

As an economist once told me, an economy can't grow rich by everyone taking in everyone else's laundry. Something of real value must be produced.

Whether the marginal (and perhaps isolated) code improvements resulting from remediation are worth what we've spent is highly doubtful. Very low cost-benefit. So even assuming bump in the road, the entire effort represents a *very* low-efficiency allocation of resources. And everyone pays for that inefficient allocation, though not all equally.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), March 17, 1999.

I do stand confused, I mean corrected (we'll stick with my command centralization fears, tho, okay?). Flint is absolutely correct, IMO.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), March 17, 1999.

We are already paying for it, and will be for several more years. When companies spend $500 million on fixing Y2K, layoff thousands of employees and call it restructuring, we are paying for it. When economists tell us that inflation is not increasing, yet prices are going up, we are paying for it. When the government takes money out of other budgets to fix schools, or roads, or whatever, and uses it to fix computers, we are paying for it. When OPEC nations are not able to produce and deliver the same amount of oil and prices rise, we are paying for it. The money has to come from somewhere, and it sure as hell isn't coming from the charitable hearts of multinational corporate CEOs!

-- @ (@@@.@), March 17, 1999.

And that bump just keeps getting bigger and bigger ...


-- @ (@@@.@), March 17, 1999.

No one has mentioned the employees.

I am confident that pay will be frozen for a few years at many companies with the excuse that there are no profits due to y2k expenses.

Of course, the senior execs and shareholders won't be asked to suffer in the same manner.

-- GA Russell (garussell@russellga.com), March 17, 1999.

I will answer your question this way.

Suppose you were on a trip and somehow you got lost in an area that was unknown to you, and your life or some one you dearly loved depended on you getting to a certain city at a certain time? say 12:30 PM.

Now, You ask one fellow that has lived in that area all his life for directions. He tells you to go fourteen miles and turn right and you will come to the town of Beautiful Wells. You find another person to ask him the best and fastest way to the certain city you are headed for. This fellow tells you he has been to the city you are headed for many times and can tell you several ways to go.

One way he goes is the best way and there is only a bump in the road about fifty miles on your way, But he has not been to the place you are going for several months.Then there is a shorter way but the road is not real good and it is the least traveled and you could probably save about an hours time.He hasen't traveled that road for a year or better.The only bad thin about making your decision as to which way to go is that is all the information you can get.

The question is, your life or some one elses that you love is at stake and 12:30 PM is fast ticking away.

#-1 You sit where you are and cry and get angry.

#-2 You take the best way and fifty miles down the road you find a bump that last for the rest of the way and you can't travel more than 10 miles an hour.

#-3 You take the shortest route and find trees are down over the road, large holes washed out by water and some places land slides you can barly get through.

You see, It all depends on where you live,How much knowledge you have of an area or thing and whether you are in a hurry or not.What might be a bump in the road to you might be best road he has ever traveled.

That is the kind of directions that the public has been getting since 1997. We still do not know if the bridge is out or.........?

I'm a 10 on the scale, Because I have tried to keep six ball in the air at the same time, not only that, But experts that travel these roads daily or has been talking to someone that has been. They say the bridge will wash out with away before 12:30 PM.

Plan, when you don't have real good directions.


-- Lon (lon1937@aol.com), March 17, 1999.

Who pays?

The remediation money comes out of corporate profits, and the mild recession a bump may cause should give the stock market balloon a pinprick from several sides at once.

It's my impression that consultants have not done a boom business for y2k, but that IT departments have mostly shifted in-house to prioritize y2k work. They will have lots of projects to catch up on next year. Whether that was all essential or low-value (job-holding) maintenance, who knows?

IT change has been on a fast track for several years. y2k may merely smooth out the acceleration curve and postpone some grandiose projects.

However, the organisations that get behind the curve -- or get bumped IN the road -- may end up as roadkill. In that case, their stockholders pay with the loss of their capital -- something that happens plenty of times over bad or unlucky business decisions anyway.

Microsoft priced at about 50 times earnings for years now, never having paid a dividend. Seems like lots of people WANT to pay the cost of technological turmoil out of their own pockets!

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.com), March 18, 1999.


"Who pays? The remediation money comes out of corporate profits"

If you believe that I'd like to sell you some swampland in Florida!

Corporate PROFITS are the ONLY thing corporations care about. If they don't reach their projected earnings levels, they make up for it in some other way; price increases, layoffs, etc. But they do NOT spend money on computers that is expected to be reported on the bottom line of their financial reports!

-- @ (@@@.@), March 19, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ