Economic Slowdown : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

First mention I've seen of pending economic slowdown in the mainstream media at CNN.

(For educational purposes only.)

"Y2K May Herald Int'l Economic Slowdown - Report June 24, 1999: 10:32 a.m. ET

PERTH, AUSTRALIA (NB) -- By Adam Creed, Newsbytes. Uncertainty in business, government and among experts over what exactly will happen as the year 2000 arrives poses a real threat of an economic slowdown, according to research conducted by Curtin Business School's Institute for Research into International Competitiveness (IRIC).

Even though the Y2K problem has been identified and critical dates when computer problems may occur are known, the results remain unpredictable because of the huge Web of inter-related partners, suppliers and unknowns in the equation, according to Professor Peter Kenyon, director of IRIC. "Estimates range wildly from almost no noticeable effect to planes falling out of the sky, cities in flames and anarchy stalking the streets," said Kenyon. "The reality is somewhere between these two extremes, and the impact is more likely to be economic than physically dangerous." Uncertainty and problems created by business' necessary concern with the computer systems of suppliers and partners means there is a real chance of an international post-Y2K economic slowdown, argues Kenyon. "The Y2K problem does not herald the end of civilization as it is currently known, but it does represent a significant business problem," said Kenyon. "Business problems like the millennium bug can have a significant negative impact upon consumers and, indeed, all members of the economy, since each is required to pay more for an equivalent amount of goods and services."

Reported By, 09:27 CST (19990624/WIRES ASIA, PC, BUSINESS, ONLINE/Y2KFI/PHOTO)"

-- Rachel Gibson (, June 27, 1999


CNN also began mentioning today the coming GPS rollover. Trying to "numb" the audience early I guess. Was a particularly interesting shot of a Naval Academy Midshipmen practicing with a sextent.

-- (, June 27, 1999.

Maybe they decided 6 months was the boundary for "interest." Short attention spans, ya know, gotta program where there's attention ... flicker ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, June 27, 1999.

Lest we forget, CNN is the MOUTHPIECE for this Administration.


-- Ray (, June 27, 1999.

For the record:

Revi ew: 'Taking the Stars: Celestial Navigation from Argonauts to Astronauts'. From the Naples News Friday, November 13, 1998 By KEN MOORE, Staff Writer

It seems fitting that the 3,000-year history of celestial navigation should be published in the year of its death.

There are few, if any, celestial navigation courses still available, and even the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis has discontinued celestial classes just this year. That signals not the end of an era but the end of a way of life for three millennium.

Additional comments here, from Risks Digest, 4 June 1998.

-- Tom Carey (, June 27, 1999.

I've seen several attempts to estimate the total savings ever achieved by truncating dates to 2 digits. These estimates take into account factors like cost of core memory and tape storage over time, saved programmer time, fewer bugs (wild estimates), indirect benefits of faster implementation of computerization (greater efficiency sooner), etc.

At most, these estimates amount to less than Citicorp alone is spending on remediation alone (all in 1999 dollars).

What this means is, y2k is a nearly pure inefficiency. Essentially every dollar spent testing, remediating, fixing on failure, etc. (not to mention loss of efficiency due to bug impacts) is being spent nonproductively. And it's a big expense just for the fixing, much less any effect on economic health, employment rates, likely huge local losses, etc. Aesop himself couldn't have written a better fable of shortsightedness.

-- Flint (, June 27, 1999.


I've always thought that no matter what people may think y2k will bring(bump-teotwawki), the very least it will bring is a MAJOR economic downturn. What level that takes is anyones guess, it all depends on how deep the "herd" mentality is. If the market(ours and worldwide) is full of independent high risk takers the stampede may be controlled, but if, as I think most investors want to cut their losses or go because everyone else is, that will bring a major dump.

Also, isn't it funny how certain types are always pointing the finger at the "Doomers" saying: "Because of your silly fears your gonna be the whole reason for the panic and bank runs, blah,blah..", when in reality it's gonna be the rich and powerfull elite who will start(allbeit semi-unknowingly) the herd'a'runnin' IMHO.

By the way great name(I also am a Gibson, but don't tell anyone)

-- CygnusXI (, June 27, 1999.

Cygnus, Y2k-work is invested money with no return--the anathema of business. That's why they started so late in the first place. When I first began researching y2k early last year, the first site I hit was by and for lawyers. Reading there told me some companies had no intention of investing in remediation at all; they'd gone directly to finding ways to prevent lawsuits against them. I don't know about your country, but in mine it is possible for a company to declare bankruptcy and then reform as another company, with no legal or financial ramifications carried-over from the former entity. No question, the corporate landscape will appear much different next year.

I believe that those who do spend the dollars on remediation will pass the cost on to their customers in one way or another eventually. And the customers may have no recourse but to pay.

I think it was Yardeni who was saying last spring that approximately 30% of small businesses would go belly-up, creating a 10% drag on the economy. (His book is/was online, in html format.)

Don't be too concerned by those who refuse to learn enough about the problem to understand who created it. Eventually most people will understand: they started too late, and they didn't leave enough time to fix it. They knew about it years ago, but they started too late.

Peace, Rachel

-- Rachel Gibson (, June 28, 1999.

Hi Flint,

Regarding the savings resulting from the use of only 2 digits, in his book, the "The Year 2000 Software problem, quanitifying the costs and assessing the consequences" Capers Jones refers to a study by Dr Leon Kappelman which finds that the accrued savings and the repair costs are approximately commensurate.

The paper is called "Accrued Savings of the Year 2000 Computer Problem" and it was published in "Year 2000 Best Practices for Y2K Millenium Computing" ed Dick Lefkon, pp 104-4.

I must admit I haven't read it, is it one you've come across?


-- Ron Davis (, June 28, 1999.


"I believe that those who do spend the dollars on remediation will pass the cost on to their customers in one way or another eventually. And the customers may have no recourse but to pay."

Too bloody true. VISA and Amex etc are all passing on a $40 "levy" to their Corporate customers (business users) for fixing code that the bloody banks screwed up in the first place.

If it was me I would refuse to pay.


-- Andy (, June 28, 1999.


Here's a rare disagreement. Remediation is not necessarily "inefficient." In many cases, remediation may require replacing outdated hardware and/or software. It could be argued this forced IT investment may create future productivity gains. Based on reports I have read, some companies have found even the inventory process very valuable.

While a forced re-assessment of a firm's IT infrastructure is not ideal, neither is it without benefits. In micro-economic terms, we have to define what the firm is spending money on and what is this "forced" spending displacing? The amount of money spent does not necessarily indicate inefficiency.

External "shocks" often create short term disruptions and longer term efficiencies. The oil price shocks in '73-74 forced companies to think differently about energy consumption. In many cases, changes in procedures (like industrial conservation programs) generated long term increases in revenue.

Without doubt, Y2K has forced many firms to rethink their strategic approach to technology. I think this will have long term benefits.


-- Mr. Decker (, June 28, 1999.

Andy, If you refuse to pay, will you end-up trying to bring forth a "frivolous lawsuit?" :)


-- Rachel Gibson (, June 28, 1999.

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