Ann Landers and Y2K banking : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Appearing in Ann Lander's column, Friday, 23April 1999. Seattle PI

"Dear Ann

Please tell your readers to stop buying into all the doom and gloom about the Y2K problem. Sure, there will be computer glitches on Jan. 1, 2000, but the lights will come on, and the phones will work. Bankers have been upgrading their systems, preparing contingency plans and working with the federal regulators who closely examine our institutions. The goal is to have our systems ready and fully tested by midyear.

Banks have survived fires, floods, the Depression and a lot more. We're not going to let some computer code get us down. Banking's solid earnings and capital, plus FDIC insurance, means the safest place for consumers' money is in a bank.

Ann, I hope you will lend your influence to help spread the facts about Y2K. Americans need to know that we're all working now to make certain that banks are open for business as usual in 2000.

Donald G Ogilvie Executive Vice President American Bankers Association Washington D.C.

Dear Donald Ogilvie

I appreciate your words of reassurance. The Y2K problem is baffling for most people, but the aurthorities I have spoken to agree with you. My thanks for writing. "

-- Valkyrie (, April 23, 1999


Ann...You just got a nice con-job!! Thought you were brighter than that.

-- Hull Stetson (, April 23, 1999.

Don just nailed the over fifty morons.

-- KoFE (Your@town.USA), April 23, 1999.

Banks survived the Depression? Yes, and they royally screwed over their customers in the process.

-- a (a@a.a), April 23, 1999.

You have to give the guy credit. He knew where to get the most bang for his buck.

-- (, April 23, 1999.

Asked authorities? Sounds like she yelled across the room for an opinion, or better yet called her banker.

The blind leading the blind once again. The majority of any population in all of history, has never seen a disaster comming. Only by a few, and sometimes not even then.

Thanks Ann,

Over 50, Bob

-- Bob (, April 23, 1999.


You dumb hag! Go get some new choppers. You click when you talk.

-- CashQueen (RichLady@$$$.com), April 23, 1999.

Oh this one is choice.... Don Ogilvie eh? Well at least now we know Norm's true identity. ;)

gee where DOES one start? "Banks have survived fires, floods, the Depression and a lot more." Oh really? HOW many banks failed during the depression?

"Banking's solid earnings and capital, plus FDIC insurance, means the safest place for consumers' money is in a bank." Solid capital? Most banks couldn't stand a 2-3% loss of deposits and 5-6% would certianly sink them. The FDIC, right. A whopping $1.70 for each $100.00 covered, much less if you count only cash.

Methinks that bankers are about to battle it out with lawyers and dog kidnappers for least esteemed profession in about 9 months.....

-- Ken Seger (, April 23, 1999.

Dear Donald,

Things would be a lot clearer on the Y2k issue if the Doomers would quit muddying the waters with their bogus extremist predictions and rhetoric.

For example: their poster-boy Infomagic predicted a stock market crash of many thousands of points, months ago, in conjunction with Y2k. Totally bogus. All the Doomers swore by his prognostications, but of course we don't hear much about that now.

Another of their poster boys, Cory Hamasaki, predicted widespread 'JoAnne Effect' problems long before now; they haven't come to pass. Where are the people explaining away these false prophecies? Same as with all false prophets: they've just faded away, and hope people will forget.

A fellow named Chicken Little asked these questions several weeks ago, and there has not been a satisfactory answer YET. Even though Mr. Hamasaki himself addressed the issue, a satisfactory direct response to the question was never given. Double-talk, yes. Direct answer, no. Very Clintonian. I guess direct questions and direct answers to big questions just don't matter any more. Not to Doomers, anyway.


-- Chicken Little (, April 24, 1999.

Oh, the banks will be fine.....right up until the soviet nuclear power plants spew radioactive crud into the atmosphere.

Can you say systemic?

Mr. K
****looking at how narrowmindedly and selectively business people are looking at things****

-- Mr. Kennedy (here@home.tonight), April 24, 1999.

Chicken, my man,

It is playing out worse than I thought it would. I have seen a bank statement that includes a distressing suggestion of serious database corruption.

Here's the deal. A checking account statement, not mine, changed in January 1999 to include 4 savings account totals belonging to strangers, persons unknown to the account holder.

The February 1999 statement (it's mid feb-mid mar) changed again, to include detail transactions, deposits, interest, fees.

In each case, the roll up shows that the checking account holder has and additional $30K in their account. $30K is the total value of the 4 savings accounts belonging to the strangers.

Started in January (the mid-Jan to mid-Feb statement) 1999? Jan 1999, Hmmmmm, what's the importance of that date? Duh.....

Yes, Banks are safe, keep your money in banks.

The account holder is a programmer who is very Y2K aware and I speak with on a weekly basis and they only brought it to my attention last week, that was Mid April 1999. This person is also very careful with their finances.

No problems with banks.

I have discussed this with Drew and a couple others who I trust at WDC Y2K. I don't know what to make of it. We are attempting to get this fixed. We are also trying to find out how extensive the problem is.

Note, the statements include account numbers, account holder names, and balances; information that most people consider very personal and personally sensitive.

Please Chicken, don't bother trying to label this weaselly or vague. I cannot, by any rules of fairness or business ethics, give you any more details. Drew knows more but he is a member of the Christian Press.

This is exactly the kind of problem that we have been afraid of. It is an odd coincidence that I should know someone who experiences a $30K bank error in their favor. I'd call this strange and wonderful

I will not reveal any additional details until we understand this problem better. This may still be just a clerical error.

-- cory (, April 24, 1999.

I thought sheeple were supposed to panic, It appears that we have the Executive Vice President of the American Bankers Association in full panic mode. Could it be that he knows something we don't?


-- Ray (, April 24, 1999.

Gee - I thought it was interesting that a BANKER is telling us that the lights will come on and the phones will work.

-- Valkyrie (, April 24, 1999.

Banks won'nt make those knid of errors, yeah right! Reminds me of an experience I had with Bank of America many years ago. When I got my monthly statement, I noticed the bank had credited me with an extra hundred bucks. So I went to the local branch manager and pointed out the error. The manager told me that the bank did'nt make those kind of errors and that I must be wrong. So I thought to myself, well screw it, I tried to do the right thing.

About a month after this experience, my wife and I purchased about $2000.00 of furinture from a local department store. I wrote a check for the full amount. When I got my next bank statement I noticied they had enclosed my cancelled check but had also credited my account by the same amount. I thought about discussing this situation with the bank manager, but after much reflection, decided that it must be a gift from God since his bank did'nt make errors like that.

-- Watcher (, April 24, 1999.

Well, as Watcher makes clear, banks have been making big errors for a long time. And given the patchwork quilt of bank software today, anyone who expects y2k to introduce no errors is in for a big surprise. Errors ought to become very common by any rational estimate.

The questions are: (1) will these errors be large enough and common enough to cripple the banking system? (2) How effectively can these errors be rectified? (3) What policy changes (if any) will be made if bank errors become intolerable, and what effect will these changes have? (4) What macroeconomic effect will these errors have on commerce?

Nobody is claiming there will be no errors. What's important is how well we can live with these errors and carry on. Will we freeze in the dark while we starve, or are we entering the Age of Exasperation?

-- Flint (, April 24, 1999.

"The questions are: (1) will these errors be large enough and common enough to cripple the banking system? (2) How effectively can these errors be rectified? (3) What policy changes (if any) will be made if bank errors become intolerable, and what effect will these changes have? (4) What macroeconomic effect will these errors have on commerce?"

Flint, you moron, all these "questions" were answered over and over by Andy in the recent Banking thread.

Who do you think you are fooling?

Are you a shill?

-- knowanidiotwheniseeone (, April 25, 1999.


You're right, Andy answered all those questions. I should have said that I am looking for the correct answers, and the only supporting evidence behind Andy's answers is that Andy says so. A very large number of people actually in the business say otherwise.

You sound like the mother who watched her son in the marching band and exclaimed "why, everyone is out of step except my Andy!"

-- Flint (, April 25, 1999.

Is someone taking my name in vain again?

If anyone is interested, check out the banking thread, went on over a few days and I would leave the reader to decide who is right - my arguments and logic are there for all to see, what is also there for all to see are some quite heroic attemps by the likes of flint and hoffmeister to squirm their way out of answering the most basic and fundamental banking questions.

The fact that I and several other posters on the thread answered them is neither here nor there in Flint's eyes.

Flint is "still asking questions".

What a complete and utter surprise :)

-- Andy (, April 25, 1999.

And now you, Dear Reader, can make your own mind up over Flint's weasel-like wordplay...

Flint Out's Himself Here As A Banking Know-Nothing

-- Andy (, April 25, 1999.

Tell you what, Andy. Next January 15, if you can do so, write me a check for $500. If you can't do so due to bank failure, I'll give you $500 in greenbacks. Deal?

-- Flint (, April 25, 1999.

"Tell you what, Andy. Next January 15, if you can do so, write me a check for $500. If you can't do so due to bank failure, I'll give you $500 in greenbacks. Deal?"

No can do. 3 reasons.

1. I won't have a bank account by then.

2. What "value" will the $500 in greenbacks have for me? If the banks sytemically tank then the value of greenbacks will be questionable. Can't eat or drink greenbacks.

3. I don't trust you.

-- Andy (, April 25, 1999.

You tell me -- why do I hide my usual hidden identity when I write about a banking collapse?

The reason banking is the most sensitive issue -- more than electric power, airplanes, or Ann Landers' teeth -- is that the fractional reserve banking system is even MORE vulnerable than old computer programs will be on 1-1-2000.

It's not about y2k anymore. It's about ANY upset to the public's confidence in fractional reserve banking (or fiat money).

The computers might muddle through a 5% error rate, but the banks won't survive a drop in public trust to 95%. They need 99+% public confidence/complacency at all times.

If they don't get it..... pfffft!

-- SecretBankingName (, April 26, 1999.

I know why you hide your identity - it's because spelling out the obvious problems banks are about to face makes you an "enemy of the state", just like our friend DeJager was trying to cryptically warn us. (spookyspooky!)

-- h... (, April 26, 1999.

This confirms it for me. Andy is a dick 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hurry up dude, the boat is leaving your sorry ass behind!!


-- Deano (, April 26, 1999.

Hey Deano, come on now, don'nt hold back, tell us how you really feel.

-- Watcher (, April 26, 1999.

Bank executives are sending their spiel to Ann Landers, ANN LANDERS?? What's next, Greenspan having a heart-to-heart with Dear Abby? Will 'Hints from Heloise' help Bob Rubin get ink stains off a 5-dollar bill?

-- yikes (c@nt.wait), April 26, 1999.

Hey Deano, whassup, you trying to suck me into a bet too? And yeah, I would trust you as far as I could spit.

-- Andy (, May 01, 1999.

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