Millennium Investment Expert John Mauldin Calls for Full Disclosuregreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
PRNewswire dated Aug. 20 <:)=
After two years of Y2K denial and complacency, consumers should demand to know the status of companies and agencies that directly affect them; and when Congress reconvenes next month, it is imperative that full disclosure be on the forefront of the legislative agenda.
Unless told the truth about Y2K compliance consumers can't properly prepare for whatever will happen when the world's computers turn over to 2000.
"We can only guess at reasonable assumptions, prepare for what we hope will be the most likely scenario, and than pray we are ready for the worst," said John Mauldin, editor of the monthly Year 2000 Alert newsletter and author of How to Profit from the Y2K Recession, released by St. Martin's Press.
It is necessary all Americans contact their representatives in Washington, D.C. and demand full disclosure. There are nearly 50 current bills introduced in Congress that address Y2K. Yet, legislation relating to disclosure has languished in committee. It will take a major public outcry for such bills to be considered during this session.
"Without the knowledge of Y2K readiness, we may be forced to err on the side of caution even if that means over-preparing," said Mauldin. "It could be a colossal waste of time and money, or worse -- a serious misallocation of scarce resources."
A report by Dr. Howard Rubin, just released from Cap Gemini America profiled 144 Fortune 500 companies and 17 government agencies. The results were astounding. It showed 52 percent of the companies profiled would not be finished with their "mission critical" Y2K fixes by January 1, 2000. And 16 percent privately responded that they would be less than 75 percent ready by January 1.
"It is just unacceptable," said Mauldin. "The Security Exchange Commission (SEC) needs to step up regulations and enforcement. It is important investors know which companies are susceptible to the Y2K Bug."
The prevailing notion in our nation's capital is that if consumers are told the truth, it will inspire panic. But there is no evidence to support that notion. In Canada, the government candidly admits its Y2K concern. And in the United Kingdom, English Prime Minister Tony Blair has plastered his name all over posters warning about Y2K. In addition, overseas media openly discusses the extent of the problem and it has not provoked any riots.
Compare that to cover-ups in the United States. The Federal Reserve and many banks refuse to reveal what they know about the compliance status of banks and savings and loans. Most electric, gas, and phone companies do not even respond to association or government surveys; and if they do, many provide inadequate information about their Y2K status. Many private companies are skirting regulations and are refusing to disclose their Y2K budgets, despite SEC guidelines instructing them to disclose such information. And despite glowing reports from our nation's industries, the Government Accounting Office's (GAO) recent releases on utilities, water distribution and health care industries are equally negative.
Recently the GAO and other government watchdogs admitted that only three states (Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota) have tested their systems and are ready to face the New Millennium without fear of potentially dangerous glitches. Most states are waiting for the last-ditch October deadline to test their systems.
In addition, many programmers and consultants openly admit their companies and government agencies are redefining "compliance" in order to appear further along in their testing than they really are -- even though time is running out and there are 134 (on August 20, 1999) days until problems could surface.
And because of the uncertainty, nearly every major organization, business and agency has developed contingency plans and crisis intervention in expectation of long-term problems.
In short, no one knows the full extent of the problem. They keep telling you not to worry -- not to stockpile medication or take cash out of the bank.
Industry insiders know better. Survey after survey of technological professionals' show that anywhere from 40-to-50 percent foresees a serious economic crisis.
"It isn't a global conspiracy. It is human nature," said Mauldin. "When IT managers say everything is under control, government and business leaders believe them, even when statistics show that half of IT managers' estimates are dead wrong resulting in late projects.
"If we could be told the facts today, when we have time to prepare in a calm and reasonable manner, it would be far more constructive. It could be disastrous if society is caught with its guard down."
Despite humorous advertisements touting that people are tired of hearing about Y2K, consider the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll which stated that 21 percent of those polled believe the Y2K bug will cause major problems; 65 percent believe it will cause minor problems; and only 12 percent believe it will not cause any problems. (Two percent had no opinion).
Mauldin includes a special section of his Millennium Wave Online (http://www.2000wave.com) website on this issue. It includes proposed legislation on the topic, and visitors can automatically e-mail their friends and congressional representatives on this important matter.
"This is a public service so people can easily let their legislators know it is critical for them to consider full disclosure before it is too late," Mauldin said.
More information about Mauldin's forecasts and investment tips to protect people from the Y2K fallout can be found in his newsletter, Year 2000 Alert (Call 800-317-6278 for subscription information); and on his website: Millennium Wave Online at http://www.2000wave.com Mauldin's book, How to Profit from the Y2K Recession is available at Amazon.com online, and Barnes and Noble bookstores.
-- Sysman (email@example.com), August 21, 1999
Blah,blah,blah,blah, BUY MY BOOK, blah, blah, blah.
How can you profit from the Y2k recession when nobody knows if there will be one, how bad it will be or how long it would last.
Fools and their money are soon parted.
-- money maker (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 21, 1999.
Full, honest, truthful disclosure would bring an end to the financial system. Isn't that the problem in a nutshell?
Don't hold your breathe anyone.
-- Will continue (email@example.com), August 21, 1999.
No argument that this guy is selling a book, but look at what he is saying.
"It showed 52 percent of the companies profiled would not be finished with their "mission critical" Y2K fixes by January 1, 2000."
"Most electric, gas, and phone companies do not even respond to association or government surveys"
"In addition, many programmers and consultants openly admit their companies and government agencies are redefining "compliance" in order to appear further along in their testing than they really are"
I could care less about his book. I do care about what he is saying.
Tick... Tock... <:00=
-- Sysman (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 21, 1999.
"Most electric, gas, and phone companies do not even respond to association or government surveys" Considering anyone can have a web page and call themseves an association, there are probably hudreds if not thousands of "association" surveys being sent to these companies. The are smart to direct the sender to their "web discloser". But then that is not responding to the surveys, right? So what, they have more important things to do.
As you do not have to "prove" yourself to anyone but your self and those you work for, the same goes for business.
-- Cherri (email@example.com), August 21, 1999.
They do not have to respond to any survey. All they have to do is announce compliance.
-- Mike Lang (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 21, 1999.
OK, I'll buy your take on "association" surveys, but what about government surveys? And what about this one, Cherri:
"Many private companies are skirting regulations and are refusing to disclose their Y2K budgets, despite SEC guidelines instructing them to disclose such information. And despite glowing reports from our nation's industries, the Government Accounting Office's (GAO) recent releases on utilities, water distribution and health care industries are equally negative."
Any comments on this one, or the other items I quoted above, Cherri?
Tick... Tock... <:00=
-- Sysman (email@example.com), August 22, 1999.
"Full Disclosure" is a great idea, but won't happen in the time remaining. Bought (more) beans, rice and spaghetti today...
-- Mad Monk (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 22, 1999.