Bank to sponsor New Jersey Community Conversation : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

-- Linkmeister (, October 22, 1999


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

Thursday October 21, 11:22 am Eastern Time

Company Press Release

SOURCE: Summit Bank

Summit Bank to Sponsor Y2K `Community Conversation'

PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- To increase public awareness about the Year 2000 progress of critical services and industries in New Jersey, Summit Bank will sponsor the ``New Jersey Y2K Community Conversation'' on Tuesday, November 9, 1999. The event is open to the public and will be held from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. at the College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ, Brower Student Center, Room 202.

``There has been solid progress in meeting the Year 2000 technology challenge, but the general public remains uncertain about banks and other basic services,'' stated Larry Betsinger, Summit Executive Vice President. ``We hope to increase public confidence with our `community conversation' about the Y2K issue, an event we are sponsoring as part of the national campaign advanced by the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion.''

Featured speakers include Wendy Rayner, Chief Information Officer for the State of New Jersey; William Stone, Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; and representatives of Summit Bank, PSE&G and Bell Atlantic. A member of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem has also been invited as a keynote speaker.

For more information about the ``New Jersey Y2K Community Conversation,'' call 609-987-3158. For directions to the College of New Jersey, call 609-771-2331, or see

Summit Bank is a subsidiary of Summit Bancorp (NYSE: SUB - news), a $36 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. Through its banking subsidiaries, Summit operates nearly 500 traditional and supermarket branches in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Connecticut and an extensive network of ATMs. The company provides financial services to individuals, businesses, not- for-profit organizations, government entities and other financial institutions through its commercial and retail banking, investment services and private banking lines of business. For more information about Summit, please visit the company's web site at

SOURCE: Summit Bank


-- Linkmeister (, October 22, 1999.

You're getting sleepy, veeeerrrrry sleeeeeppppyyyyyy......zzzzzz.z..zzz...z


-- Man From Uncle 1999 (, October 22, 1999.

I'm going to this. This is my bank. Hey Sysman can you make it? Anyone else in the area? If not, I'll bring my spinach and stand alone....been there already done that. We want truth in the public square. It is a time for courage in a calm way of course.


PANIC IN THE YEAR ZERO Social Security, banking systems not Y2K ready Congressional testimony sheds doubts on fiscal preparedness for year 2000

By David M. Bresnahan ) 1999

Thousands of repairs are still needed in order to get Social Security checks out on time in the new year, according to recent congressional testimony. Despite ten years of preparations, the Social Security Administration is still not ready to deal with the Y2K computer glitch.

The banking system is also not ready, while the major Fortune 1000 companies still face major Y2K-related disruptions, according to recent reports.

"The Social Security system is now 100 percent compliant with our standards and safeguards for the year 2000," said President Bill Clinton last December. Recent testimony would indicate that the American public has been deceived.

After the president's declaration there was a great deal of bragging about the agency. They were held up as a great example of what a government agency can accomplish. The SSA began work on the Y2K computer problem in 1989, long before other government agencies.

President Clinton assured older Americans that they have nothing to worry about. Social Security checks would arrive on time after Jan. 1. The Y2K bug would not bite the fixed income of America's elderly, he assured the public.

However, some say problems could emerge. "SSA's work is not yet complete," said Joel C. Willemssen when he testified recently before a committee of the House of Representatives. "Certain tasks integral to ensuring its overall readiness for the year 2000 must still be accomplished," he added, directly contradicting the president's statement.

Willemssen is director of the Civil Agencies Information Systems Accounting and Information Management Division. His warning should not be taken lightly. His statement means parts of the system are not yet Y2K compliant, ready, fixed, or even prepared. Yet the unprepared parts of the system are critical to getting checks out on time, for the correct amounts and to the right people.

One of the problems involves "data exchanges," he said. This is information sent to and received from other agencies and organizations which are known to be less than Y2K ready themselves.

Willemssen also expressed concern in his testimony that contingency planning has not yet been completed. Social Security payments may not get through because of banks that have Y2K disruptions.

"SSA plans to assist Treasury in developing alternative disbursement processes for problematic financial institutions," said Willemssen.

As of July 23, 1999, SSA tested 92 percent of its mission critical applications. Those tests, according to their own reports, revealed 1,565 errors that needed to be fixed. Those errors were found in 283 out of 308 mission-critical systems. Of the 1,565 errors found in those 283 systems, only 44 percent were repaired at the time of the report.

Social Security checks are scheduled to be delivered to local post offices on Dec. 29, 1999, to avoid potential delivery problems after Jan. 1, 2000. Many payments are to be made by electronic deposit and will be transmitted to banks directly before the new year begins. That may serve as a good contingency method of delivery for the January payment, but the same solution will not work for February and beyond if there are Y2K problems at that time.

Banks transfer funds electronically every day, and even if an individual bank functions well within its own walls, the ability to transfer funds back and forth with other financial institutions may be in doubt.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Basel, Switzerland, is the central bank for all other central banks in the world. They are not as cheery about the Y2K outlook as most local banks have been.

"Some problems will be missed," predicted a recent report from BIS, which was sent to other banks. "New problems will be missed; new problems will be inadvertently introduced via the remediation process; even the best test programs may not detect all potential errors; uncertainty will remain up to and after Jan. 1.

"In other words," the report concluded, "it is inevitable there will be Y2K disruptions, although it's not possible to predict how serious or widespread this disruption will be."

The report details the threat of a breakdown of the inter-bank payment system, and clearly states there is no backup.

"Y2K is unlike any other disruption problem where identical backup sites can be activated. But any uncorrected Y2K problem is likely to affect both sites, so the backup would not be a contingency," warned the BIS report.

Individuals who do not engage in transferring funds from bank to bank might be impacted greatly by the problem because businesses and the availability of funds depend on it. Transactions all over the world could be brought to a halt, and with it there will be a halt in business and all types of commerce.

"The inability of a major payment and settlement system to function smoothly, or have procedures for isolating problems, will intensify uncertainty/concern," said the BIS report. "In the extreme case, this could have repercussions throughout the global and domestic systems."

The BIS report advises other banks to get the home phone numbers of regulators and government officials so they can be contacted at night or on weekends to discuss the prudence of "closing markets and declaring an emergency financial bank holiday."

The BIS report needs to be taken seriously. The Social Security checks are not the only financial transaction that are in danger. The world economy is a risk, according to some financial experts.

Financial advisor and author John Mauldin has been warning of a financial recession in America and a depression in much of the world after the first of the year.

The signs are all there. As the last few days of the year slip by, more and more government agencies, commercial businesses, and infrastructure systems will begin to issue revised statements of their Y2K readiness to protect themselves from inevitable law suits next year.

The truth about the BIS report and the failure of the SSA to be ready for Y2K after 10 years of preparations should be more widely reported than it is. If the concerns expressed by Willemssen and the BIS report were made known to the general public, Mauldin believes the public would be better prepared to face the financial difficulties he predicts will come in the new year.

Mauldin points to recent reports by the Security and Exchange Commission, as well as a survey by respected researcher Howard Rubin's Rubin Systems, Inc. The SEC and Rubin report that American businesses are not fully prepared to deal with the Y2K computer problem in a survey of the Fortune 1000 companies.

The most significant finding of the Rubin survey is that 48 percent of the respondents said they will have all their mission-critical systems tested and compliant by New Year's Eve. That means a full 52 percent will not be ready!

Mauldin says that if just 5 to 10 percent of all companies lose business we will have a recession next year. Many of the top Fortune 1000 companies are already becoming less optimistic about business in the new year.

In a supplement to his monthly newsletter, financial expert and advisor Martin D. Weiss says 216 blue chip stocks are "Y2K basket cases."

As an example of trouble ahead, Weiss points to findings in required Securities and Exchange Commission filings from the nation's top businesses.

"General Motors is risking a devastating Y2K shutdown. In its disclosures to the SEC, the company admits it could face significant impediments to (its) ability to carry on its normal operation," warned Weiss as one example of trouble ahead.

The problems reported by General Motors are said to be typical of those reported by at least 219 other major firms. Many of these same companies paint a much rosier picture in their public statements about their Y2K preparations.

Add to the internal Y2K problems of these companies the likelihood that financial transactions could be disrupted and you have a lot of companies unable to do business, and a lot of people out of work.

Mauldin is expecting layoffs sufficient to bring unemployment figures over 20 percent, and a resulting drop in the stock market of 50 percent or more.

-- BB (, October 22, 1999.

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