Banking Starts Trial-Ballooning the "Holiday" Word : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

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6/15/99 -- 8:51 AM

Hong Kong may call holiday to avoid Y2K problems

HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong thinks its computers will be able to avoid ``millennium bug'' problems but, to stay on the safe side, the government wants to make the last day of 1999 a holiday.

The government said that shutting down banks and other businesses that rely heavily on computers would avoid possible complications as the year changes.

The holiday was suggested by Hong Kong's Association of Bankers, whose members say an extra day off ahead of 2000 will give them time to wind up all their end-of-the-year accounting.

``This would ensure that all the relevant records are accurate and complete after the millennium occurs,'' said Rebecca Lai, Hong Kong's deputy secretary for financial services.

The idea of closing Hong Kong's financial institutions was supported by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority - the territory's de facto central bank - and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the government said.

.... Hong Kong said it would not be alone in declaring Dec. 31 a holiday. Other places, including Britain, are closing for a holiday, along with numerous banks throughout continental Europe.

And of course more to come. Happy holiday season! To celebrate the New Millennium, we have decided to extend the party and holiday season for 2 months both sides of the Big Day ... incremental creep watch begins now ... click ... stopwatch running ...

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-- Leska (, June 15, 1999


Just last month we read articles where banks were proudly stating their intention to be open both 12/31/1999 and 1/1/2000 to serve and reassure customers. Will be interesting to see the "perceptions vs records printout" seesaw try the balancing act.

mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm

-- Ashton (, June 15, 1999.

Thanks Leska,

they can close for 4 weeks never mind just a few days, but when they crank up the computers and link in to the banking system of systems they will still tank monumentally....

perhaps they are seeking to isolate themselves, to protect their databases, watch the rest of the world to see what happens...

if enough banks declare these holidays, there will be no banking system...

they are RUNNING SCARED - they know what is about to happen...

-- Andy (, June 15, 1999.

A FULL page ad in Sunday's paper has one of the local banks (no I threw it out) open on Saturday, 1/1/2000.


-- Chuck, a night driver (, June 15, 1999.

Not too long ago, wasn't there some PR suggestions out there for banks, with the suggestion that they hold a New Year's Eve party at the bank complete with a vault "opening' at the stroke of midnight 1/1/00- to "reassure the folks". What happened? Empty vaults??

-- farmer (, June 15, 1999.

??? Mellon Bank is staying open through the New Years holiday. So are some others. The Hong Kong Bankers Association will do EXACTLY what the Republic of China tells them to do and NOTHING ELSE.

Handing over Hong Kong to that gang, as if they were somehow inheritors of the government they murdered, made no sense whatsoever.

-- Paul Davis (, June 15, 1999.

Who cares whether they will be open or not?

Got cash?

-- br14 (br14@bout.done), June 15, 1999.

Uh....maybe these banks are hoping that there may be enough REALLY clueless people who may think of actually making a deposit?

-- Tim (, June 15, 1999.

On AP Breaking News, URL ptooof

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6/21/99 -- 2:03 PM

Singapore declares Dec. 31 a bank holiday

SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore has declared this Dec. 31 a bank holiday in preparation for the coming of the new millennium, an official announced Monday.

The holiday ``will enable banks to begin their year-end processing and backup early so that these activities are completed in time for the new year,'' said Koh Yong Guan, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country's de facto central bank.

Koh made the announcement during a speech at the Association of Banks in Singapore's annual dinner.

The coming of the new millennium has raised global fears that many computers' inability to recognize the year 2000 could cause breakdowns in systems crucial to everything from banks to airplanes.

Singapore has been in the forefront of refurbishing its computer systems to tell the difference between the year 2000 and the year 1900.

The wealthy city-state's banks have already passed a worldwide test for the millennium bug organized by the New York Clearing House, central bank officials said last week.

Singapore's monetary authority, also known as MAS, was acting on the proposal by the banking association, Koh said in his speech.

``The extra holiday will make no difference at all if we are not ready by then. But MAS is satisfied that our banks will be ready,'' Koh said, according to an official text of his speech issued to reporters.

More than 20 other countries have designated Dec. 31 as a bank holiday or public holiday, Koh noted. Some also have done so for Jan. 3, 2000, the first working day of the new millennium. But Singapore had decided against this, he said.

``In our assessment, our financial system will be ready to resume operations from the outset of the new millennium,'' he said.
So it's now a 4-day Holiday for some countries ...
watching ...

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, June 21, 1999.

Where to put this ... cash flow, finances ... here's as good a place as any ;^)

from csy2k, written by "Alan J. Robinson" , University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, titled:

"Revenge of the Nerds?

Most of the analyses I've seen on the potential impact of Y2K computer system failures appear to ignore what I feel will turn out to be the most crucial problems of all.

The first I almost hate to mention, because it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's not just Y2K we have to be concerned about, it's also virus attacks on computer systems. It's well known that many viruses originate in the former Communist world. The war in Yugoslavia along with the economic collapse of Russia has even further alienated the 2nd world against the U.S. and western interests.

What's to stop these people from unleashing a flood of viruses, with government support this time, all timed to go off at the stroke of midnight on the new millennium?

How could any organization possibly figure what's going on with their computer systems when you have a COMBINATION of Y2k bugs and viruses?

The second major impact I see, and what could be the most devastating in the long run, is the impact on cash flow in certain sectors of the economy which will follow on from production and billing disruptions in the manufacturing sector. There are often several tiers of corporations here in typical supply chains. The possibility of ripple effects is quite large, ultimately affecting even the largest corporations, who could even be Y2K compliant internally.

In fact, it has been predicted that the highest rate of bankruptcies will occur in small to medium enterprises with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees. So many of these businesses will disappear, and their assets taken over at fire sale prices by larger organizations that it may well cause smaller businesses to appeal directly to the government for the temporary suspension of the normal legal and commercial mechanisms in place in western societies.

Many of the computer systems in these organizations will simply have to be abandoned. It would cost too much money to straighten out the records, compounded by ham-fisted attempts at remediation such as resetting system clocks back into the 20th century by unskilled help such as the teenage son of a business owner.

Similarly there will be cash flow disturbances in the government sector, somewhat along the line of what has happened in Russia. Because private corporations in Russia refuse to pay their taxes, the government is unable to pay salaries and pensions to many individuals who are dependent on the government. Nor is the government able to pay its suppliers of physical goods.

At the very least, these disruptions of cash flow will completely invalidate the economic and financial indicators that are used by governments and central banks throughout the world for managing national economies.

The world's financial systems have also been increasingly encrusted in recent years by trading in derivatives. This speculative addition, far from stabilizing the system as its proponents claim, amplifies the effects of any movement, up or down, in interest rates, stock markets, and currency exchange markets. It's really a form of legalized gambling.

The prospect of a derivative meltdown of the world's financial markets is very real. We've already had the 1987 stock market crash and the Asian financial crisis. Once again, the possibility of calls for suspension of normal legal and commercial mechanisms throughout the world is very real.

My background? Computer programmer/analyst and electrical engineer, plus an MBA from the U. of Chicago, the temple of trading in financial derivatives.

I've had direct experience with cash flow disruption in a large corporation resulting from computer system problems, and with trying to straighten out computerized financial records in a small organization damaged by incompetent help.

Alan J. Robinson,

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, June 21, 1999.

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