Bennett expects Y2K economic impact; says "prepare intelligently" : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

here's my story on senator bennett at dcy2k thursday night. there's more info than i put in here, of course (i took 15 1/2 pages of notes; heck, if you print this story out, i think it's like 5 pages). anyway, it's 3 in the a.m., so that's the news & i am outta here. any questions, i'll try to get back later to answer dem. i is 2 tired 2 hotlink.

-- Drew Parkhill/CBN News (, April 23, 1999


-- Kevin (, April 23, 1999.

Bennet's second reason for being more optimistic about Y2K than he was previously:

"...and second, that more people had gotten involved in the Y2K issue than he had expected."

Kind of strange that this is considered a plus by Bennet, considering that this is NOT what they have been advocating.

-- Sara Nealy (, April 23, 1999.


by that, i think bennett meant more people at high levels. i'll check my notes when i stumble semi-coherently into the office in the morning & make that change.

-- drew parkhill (, April 23, 1999.


Great article. I do think these guys try and be a bit understated.


"take charge of your own life"

should be framed and put on everyone's forehead

-- Brian (, April 23, 1999.


Thanks for "crashing" on this story. Your training shows. We appreciate the prompt post. :)

-- FM (, April 23, 1999.

Thanks Drew. You captured the essence of the meeting very well. I was surprised that the question of economic repercussions was not raised until the end. There were no questions on the topic and the last thing that Senator Bennett did was to raise the issue himself. After thinking about this for a while, I am sure that he is extremely concerned. Devastating economic problems could trigger many other situations- none of them pleasant. Though he mentioned only a recession here, global inter-dependancy is unarguable. It could get ugly everywhere including the USA.

-- Mike Lang (, April 23, 1999.


In another thread, someone wrote that Bruce Beach was mentioned. (I think during the Q&A) I wonder in what context. Do you recall? Thanks!


-- FM (, April 23, 1999.

Bench? It was Paula "let's have a new federal mega-agency to appreciate the Y2K problem; say, where would we send the grant requests?" Gordon.

Senator Bennett's response was, "Wha?"

Well, something like, that's very interesting, I was not aware of that, moving on....

-- cory (, April 23, 1999.

Cory, your post reminds me of a local meeting six years ago, where we were (I thought) attempting to set up a district Neighborhood Watch thing (crime was really out of hand at the time). A speaker from a crime-ridden part of town related how their district had obtained $11m in funding for various things, $8m of which went to a new high school (which others wanted in a different district BECAUSE of the high crime in that district!). He kept going on about how much money they had been able to get in grants but NEVER once mentioned what it was used for, except the school. The whole thrust was how much money the district had been able to squeeze out of government. So then someone in our district stood up and said, "You mean you just asked for the money and they gave it to you?" "Well, more or less." "Could WE get that kind of money?" "Well, yes, but you have to have something to get it FOR."

So that's how it works. First you find out there's money available. Then you figure out something to spend it on. Why should Y2K be any different? Would a Y2K agency end up, like the USDA, with--what is it?--three employees for every farmer? Maybe wrong number but it IS something ridiculous like that.

-- Old Git (, April 23, 1999.

Drew -- Great work, as always. Nothing new here, though, that I can see, except you chose to report little tidbits of "problems" (I love the utility example) that a so-called mainstream (ha!) article would have omitted.

I am a financial markets layperson of the highest order. Still, when a lot of people on this forum were predicting last fall the market (at 8,600) would tank by now, I predicted it would reach 10,000.

The so-called "flight to quality" that Bennett has been talking about for the last few months is very real, though we will all discover how "quality" the U.S. Y2K efforts have really been, won't we? I wouldn't be surprised to see the market hit 12,000 by June or July. We are in the middle of a classic "buying panic". Whether THAT panic goes to September or so can't be known in advance.

At some point, the "flight" from other markets will cause them to begin to crumble (July?) and, IMO, the first selling panic will hit us in September, with much money moving intensely to bonds and treasuries.

If my expectations, prove correct, direct all commissions to "BigDog". Otherwise, as Rosanne Rosannadanna used to say so cogently,

"Never mind."

-- BigDog (, April 23, 1999.

first, a general "thanks" to everyone who liked the story. it does make 17 hour days easier :)


bennett did indeed say words to the effect of "highly-placed," so i added that in. i was hesitant to use them originally, because i didn't write down exactly what he said on that point (he did use the word "big"), & i try 2 B fax-shu-al :)


i agree- i thought "take charge of your own life" was a great quote. it puts the responsibility where it belongs- on the individual, not the government.


i agree- the principal y2k risk is economic; bennett has been talking this way for some time. interestingly, his discussion was of a best- case scenario (which included a recession); on the way home, it occurred to me that a good question would have been, "what's your *worst*case scenario?" - but i don't think he would have answered it. you are quite correct that "it could get ugly." this is where my key y2k concern is: the international econonmy. risk is high.


cory is right- beach was mentioned by paula gordon. i believe he was first brought up in a question by a member of the audience, who called him "bruce bench." bennett was clearly unfamiliar with the topic. in fact, it was obvious to me at a couple points that bennett is not completely up to speed on the latest aspects of various points of y2k; of course, he *is* a US senator, while all i do is sit around & read y2k stuff much to most of my day & run a web site, so naturally i'll see stuff he won't. however, he did say, for example, that the russians had broken off y2k cooperation due to kosovo, which, according to what the pentagon said monday, is not true- see yk_russia_usa_1.html

that siad, i thought bennett was excellent. i was more impressed by him than i expected to be, and he clearly has genuine depth in the subject. one thing that no doubt helps him is that he has an actual *business* background, as opposed to many politicians, who have been politicians literally all of their lives, and so have no private sector experience.

big dog,

unfortunately, he didn't go into any more detail on the power plant system failure, but i thought it was significant that he mentioned it all. in fact, he mentioned other things that were interesting, but that story had gotten fairly long by that point, i thought it was time to hang it up. i hope i covered the basics.

re: the market: in the last week & a half, we've seen very positive internal technical signs in the market, as the advance-decline and new high-new low numbers have turned positive. dow 12,000 this year is entirely possible. if it wasn't for y2k, i wouldn't worry about the market at all. 18,800 would be a chip shot.

-- drew parkhill/cbn news (, April 23, 1999.

big dog,

oh, one other point about the "flight to quality" aspect of this- it's the same principle i've long talked about, ie, "survival of the fittest." that, ultimately, is going to be one the key definitions of y2k. in many cases, those who survive, will thrive- big companies buying up small failing companies in a supply chain, for example.

-- drew parkhill/cbn news (, April 23, 1999.

Drew -- agree with your last point entirely and have said this on other threads myself. Whatever happens, even TEOTWAWKI, which isn't TEOTW anyway, there will be tremendous post-Y2K econ and market oppy's for those who are discerning and flexible, though, alas, much pain for many fellow human beings to get there.

To me a more interesting question (it's that classics/theology background) is whether Y2K will open up a perhaps rare opp'y to rethink corporat-ism in general. My sense: it will, but without a cohesive theoretical underpinning that is broadly persuasive, we'll probably all split into our usual New Age/socialist/utopian/Christian camps on "what to do". Hope I'm too pessimistic there .....

-- BigDog (, April 23, 1999.

Has anyone ever asked Bennett how much food he has stored? Does he have a generator? How about gas stove & fuel? And cash? I wonder if he has taken his own advice and just prepared for a hurricane or a year long (or longer) blizzard?

-- winna (??@??.com), April 23, 1999.

winna -- Bennett himself has said his daughter has a garage filled with food and supplies.

-- BigDog (, April 23, 1999.


From the "follow up category designed to induce future brain cramps," have you ever considered doing a mid-year story comparing--category by category*--views held by the GAO and Koskinen?

My question is inspired by the following quote:

"GAO answers to Congress. John Koskenin answers to the White House."

*You could cover: (Not necessarily in this order)

1 Powergrid

2 Telcommunications

3 Transportation

4 Banking, liquidity

5 General government services, state, federal, local.

6 General business

7 Litigation

8 Healthcare

Just my two cent's worth.


-- FM (, April 23, 1999.

Old GIT - just a short comment on something you said about the USDA having 3 employees for every farmer: Don't forget that the USDA administers all of our National Forests; food stamps; school lunches; infant mother programs; low income housing loans in rural areas, etc. Only a minor percentage of their budget is on agricultural production and that covers food indpections and soil/resource/habitat conservation in rural areas, among other things.

(May not be important, but perpetuates a perception those in production ag would like corrected. This includes the myth that all farming is subsidized. Only selective crops like cotton, some grains, peanuts, sugar and tobacco are subsidized. I know the beef, potato and hay crop producers in my area get nothing.)

-- marsh (, April 23, 1999.

I just sent Bruce Beach an e-mail, telling him that Senator Bennett was "looking for him." This could get interesting. <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 23, 1999.

Drew, Let me add my voice to the kudos on your good work.

Thanks for the clarification.

I agree with Brian that the comment "take charge of your own life" is the most valuable aspect of the message from Bennett. It will be interesting to see if Bennett's tone in public changes as we get closer to the rollover.

-- Sara Nealy (, April 23, 1999.

See Cory's WRP118 just out. The Senator is a 'top level' kind of guy. He just deals with what his aids and corporate people are feeding him. Cory talks about the belly of the beast..the rotten core of the tree which looks SOOOO majestic until the next wind snaps it in half. OK. We'll see. Bob is happier. I'm pulling back in as much as can be done. Doesn't matter to me if things disintegrate or not. I'll be ready to deal with a different world one way or the other. There's risk out there. Minimize exposure. Postion for advantage. Rest. Wait.

-- David (C.D@I.N), April 23, 1999.

big dog,

the post-y2k world may well be a VERY different place, although i don't know how much philosophical changes there will be with respect to business approaches. technology within business (and gov't), yes, but overall management philosophy, hard to say. rothschild will live again: the time to buy is when there's blood in the streets (though not necessarily literally; more perhaps like the blood of market selling).


as i mentioned in the other thread, bennett's view- and mine as well, pretty much- is that the gao & prez council are pretty much factually coming down in the same general ballpark. their *interpretations* of facts are sometimes quite different, though. for instance, the prez council says "we are growing increasingly confident there will be no national breakdown of the power grid; problems will be localized." well, that's positive spin. are we supposed to be relieved that the whole country won't go dark, and just forget about the poor saps who won't have power (if that happens)? i don't think the prez council means for us to do that, but clearly that report (jan) was at least in part in presenting at optimistic view, designed to alleviate fears. one could just as easily take the same facts & come to the gao's conclusions ("problems still remain... much work still needs to be done... outages are possible..." etc). i think that's the point bennett was referring to. well, part of it, anyway.



-- drew parkhill/cbn news (, April 24, 1999.

Thanks, Drew.

Like everything else in life, understanding this whole thing seems to come down to one's OWN "interpretation" of the evidence, or relying on "them" to interpret it for us.

I think the thing that bothers me the most about all of this is the difficulty of garnering regionally specific information.

I hold little hope for future in-depth investigative reporting by the media in my area. I do hope--at some point--regionally specific information will be forthcoming from the feds.

(And ANDY would probably argue that I stand a better chance of expecting pigs to fly.)


-- FM (, April 24, 1999.

Good job, Drew.

FM, not even the specific regions, can get "regionally specific information" ... yet. If ever.


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 24, 1999.

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