Anybody catch the Gallop Poll today? 4 out of 5: Polly re $ : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I was in fast moving, heavy traffic in a sunbaked car and only half listening, so I may have the numbers wrong, and maybe it wasn't Gallup, but another Biggie. But what I thought I heard was that 4 out of 5 Americans do not believe they will be personally affected by y2k financially. Nevertheless, 2 out of 3 will take extra money out of the bank before year's end, "just in case". I was so stunned by the figures that I questioned whether I heard them right. Anybody know?

-- Faith Weaver (, May 21, 1999


Many Plan To Withdraw Cash for Y2K


Almost two-thirds of people questioned in a survey about the Year 2000 computer problem said they expect to set aside extra cash in the days before New Year's, but most said it won't be a large amount.

The Gallup poll of 1,606 adults, released today, also showed that the vast majority nearly 79 percent said they fully expect the Y2K problem to have ''little or no impact'' on their personal finances.

The findings reflect a shift in the nation's mood from early fears of Y2K problems causing widespread failures to more recent views that the date rollover will more likely present scattered inconveniences.

The poll, conducted by telephone, was commissioned by Star Systems Inc., the nation's largest electronic banking network, with its Honor and Star automated teller machines, which serve 79 million customers.

''Clearly, the public is becoming more confident as they learn more about Y2K preparations, including testing, that the financial and electronic funds transfer industries have been making,'' said Ronald V. Congemi, Star's president.

Congemi said the results showed 80 percent of people expect to be able to conduct transactions at ATMs or grocery stores and gas stations on New Year's Day.

''We're excited that consumer confidence has risen so high,'' he said.

Government experts have lauded the nation's financial industry for its work preparing for the technology problem, when some computers originally programmed to recognize only the last two digits of a year could interpret 2000 as 1900.

Most financial institutions which are federally regulated _ have set June 30 as a target date for completing all their Y2K preparations.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they plan to withdraw extra cash before Jan. 1, but 52 percent said the amount won't exceed what they typically spend for a weekday, weekend or holiday.

''Hopefully, these people will follow the advice of numerous government and consumer organizations, recommending that people make any withdrawals in small increments well in advance of Dec. 31,'' Congemi said.

The telephone survey was conducted April 7-22, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

-- DMH (, May 21, 1999.

My husband said he too heard those figures and that you are correct.

-- Lyn Truss (, May 21, 1999.

A couple of observations here. First, what people say they intend to do and what they actually do are often very different. Second, I've watched numerous people trying to withdraw $10 from the ATM (often paying $1 for the transaction!) and being told they don't have that much!

It's true that I don't intend to have any money in the bank at the end of the year. It's also true that I *never* have any money in the bank at the end of the month. If I can pay off my credit cards by the end of the year, I'll be happy. Early this decade, I tried to get a small business off the ground. Ran up about $25K on credit cards before I gave up. Spent the last 5 years spending as little as possible and sending everything left over towards that debt each month. Estimated completion date: next December!

[Footnote: I tried to get about a dozen patents for what I was developing, but patents are *very* expensive to get, and I couldn't find the funding. Over the last 5 years, I've watched as one idea after another gets patented by someone else. I could cry.]

-- Flint (, May 21, 1999.

"We're excited that consumer confidence has risen so high..."

Let's hope they are being truthful with the public. If not...


(Yep, Flint, I once had a software development company... *Sigh*)

-- Diane J. Squire (, May 21, 1999.

I've seen different numbers in the polls I've pulled up on the web, but I'm having trouble finding a lot of them now. If anyone has any info on other poll results on the web, I'd like to get the URL's.

Here's the one from Ed Yardeni's site:

No extra cash: 13% One to four weeks more than usual: 33% One to three months more than usual: 29% More than three months more than usual: 24%

Here's another interesting site:

It would be interesting to get various poll data for individuals, companies, etc. and then plug them in to the cash computer.

-- Clyde (, May 21, 1999.

Some of us may have other priorities...I put other preparations ahead of stashing extra cash. I'd rather have food, water, shelter, communications, etc. So I will prioritize acquiring those before I allocate much extra cash. If it comes down to food or dollars, I can always eat the food...

-- Mad Monk (, May 21, 1999.

Thanks for confirming the numbers for me. Personally, I'm happy for two nickles to rub together most of the time. Debt, yup; Investments, 0. Just another entrepreneurial story.

What stunned me about the poll was the 4 out of 5 not believing their personal finances will be affected by y2k.

Were nearly half way through 1999, and not one industry claims to be ready for y2k. Yes, banks and the financial sector here in the United States lead the race toward full readiness [and we all remain politely silent about the problem of international connectedness]; yes, the utilities and telecoms say, theyre on target and working hard. But still, in my book, not to prepare is to bet some pretty high stakes that everything will be just fine. And to believe you will not be impacted financially is to believe there's no reason to prepare. It's to buy the party lines: No more than a three day glitch at most. Here in the States, well be just fine. Well be just fine. Well be just fine. Prepare as if you were going to be in a bad winter storm. One week. And, oh, have your bank records and financial papers, and maybe a bottle or two extra of the prescriptions . . . just in case. But really, its going to be just fine here. Just fine.

If its not fine, if major segments of the infrastructure fail, say, regionally, or nationwide, or in whole segments of the globe, if there are problems that extend beyond a very short number of days, the loss of life will be significant. That 4 out of 5 people believe the impact certainly won't affect their personal finances doesn't argue for an aware, preparing populace too well.

As Diane would say, *Big Sigh.*

Tell somebody.

-- Faith Weaver (, May 21, 1999.


Good luck - been there, done that - in fact still paying for it - tried a run at import and export and got hung up on endangered specie act trying to import mahogany a while back.

Re: The gallup pole, most say they wil withdraw cash but Y2K won't impact them... Do they undersatnd a BANK RUN?

-- Bill P (, May 21, 1999.

Mad Monk,

Some people have a little extra cash, especially those with retirement accounts. Sure, you gotta eat, but let's say someone has a couple of hundred grand in a retirement account, or even "just 30K" in their "401K", for the sake of argument. They're a real doomer and spend 15K on food and other supplies. That leaves them with 15K in the bank, and if they're serious enough to spend half their money on food for the end of the world, they might be concerned about keeping the other half in cash or precious metals to function in a post Y2K society, or maybe "just to be safe".

Based on Yardeni's poll ( , and assuming 4.33 weeks per month (52/12), if you do a weighted average of the results, this is what you'll come up with for what the "average" person will withdraw:

zero x 13% = 0.00

2.5 weeks x 33% = .83 week's salary (one to four weeks more than usual: avg. = 2.5 weeks)

8.66 weeks x 29% = 2.57 week's salary (one to three months: avg. two months x 4.33 = 8.66 weeks)

12.99 weeks x 24% = 3.12 week's salary (more than three months, but I used three months to be conservative: three months x 4.33 weeks = 12.99 weeks)

Now, add up the weighted results to arrive at the average number of week's salary that the average person will withdraw:

0 + .83 + 2.51 + 3.12 = 6.46 weeks. According to the poll, the average person will withdraw the equivalent of 6.46 week's salary.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker works 34.5 hrs per week at an average wage of $13.04 per hour. The average weekly salary is 34.5 x $13.04 = $444.35

$444.35 x 6.46 (weeks) = $2,870.50 (average withdrawal per person).

Now, plug this in to the top line of the cash computer ( as "Cash on Hand for Day to Day Needs"

Leave all other withdrawal amounts as zero (including business withdrawals), and assume that the Fed will make all of the cash that they promised available.

-- Clyde (, May 21, 1999.

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