Best economic impact summary yet, copy and keep these quotes. (Publius Press) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Special Federalist Series: Y2K -- Part 1

So, what about Y2K? The Federalist has not received a single inquiry this year regarding our lack of comment about the approaching Y2K "crisis." That means most of our readers think the disruptions will be minimal -- or their bunkers are fully stocked.

Needless to say, after reading this first of our three-part summary on Y2K, a few eschatologists who are convinced Y2K is the apocalypse will hit our Member Comments page. In fact, we will set up a special mailbox for those critics: , but ask that you hold your comments and send them to us after January 1st, 2000 --

if you still have power.

So, what about Y2K -- really? Our Editorial Board has concluded for the last year -- with some dissention -- that the "facts" being cited as predictors for the shutdown of the western world after New Year's Eve were about 10% substance and 90% fragrance. The "fragrance" art creates the perception of an impending crisis, and such preceptions alone can be problematic. Having said that, there is the remaining 10% of substantive concern.

While the probability of viable Y2K threats is low, their scope, if they in fact occur, could be very widespread.

So, what are the real threats? Aside from the sporadic problems that may occur with communication and power grids, we conclude that the most significant threat is posed by the unknown probability and scope of a degradation of computer and data management confidence in the financial sectors of our economy, and those around the world -- particularly in Asia.

Financial markets are perception dependent, which is to say, disrupt the perception and reality will follow.

The State Department's inspector general has said, "The global community is likely to experience varying degrees of Y2K-related failures in every sector, in every region, and at every economic level." The President's Council of Economic Advisers concludes, "Even if disruptions turn out to be more serious than most analysts expect, they will most likely show up primarily as inconveniences and losses in certain sectors. ... However, it would be unwise to state categorically that a Y2K recession is not in the cards."

Because of interdependent economies, what affects some world markets affects the U.S. economy -- with comparable severity. The caveat is the unknown probability for disruptions in financial markets with which the U.S. is, to varying degrees, interdependent.

"The truth is, it's not possible to know how severe the impacts are going to be," said Bob Olson, research director at the Institute for Alternative Futures. "It is too big to see. No one can have an understanding of all the ways that small failures in networks, interconnected computers and interconnected supply chains around the world might cascade to cause serious failures."

Concerning the potential for the disruption of domestic economic continuity, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said before the Senate Special Committee on the year 2000 Technology Problem, "Historically, the fin de siecle has caused quite a stir...[among] doomsayers and apocalyptic fear mongers.... After studying the potential impact of Y2K on the telecommunications industry, health care, economy, and other vital sectors of our lives, I would like to warn that we have cause for fear."

Sens. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) and Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), leaders of that Senate committee, said, "Make no mistake...we believe that disruptions will occur that in some cases will be significant. The international situation will be more disturbing. Those who suggest that it will be nothing more than a 'bump in the road' are simply misinformed."

Committee chairman Mr. Bennett added, "It's clearly a dilemma. You don't want to add to a sense of panic. At the same time, you don't want to be irresponsible in case there is a problem. I cannot be optimistic and I am generally concerned about the possibility of power shortages.... Supermarket supplies may be disrupted.... Pay attention to the things that are vulnerable in your life and make contingency plans.... Don't panic, but don't spend too much time sleeping, either."

The House Y2K panel concluded, "The public faces a high probability) that critical services provided by the government and the private sector could be severely disrupted by the Year 2000 computing crisis."

The General Accounting Office reports, "More than one-third of the most important [government] systems won't be fixed in time."

So, what do we suggest? What we don't know about Y2K is a serious matter, and it has been an excellent catalyst for prompting Americans to think about their vulnerability and level of preparedness for all contingencies -- continuity of government and commerce -- terrorism here and abroad -- disrupted oil supplies, etc. Some of us may have a recollection of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the notion of "Civil Defense," but most Americans living today know nothing of a world war, and fewer still understand the effects of a severe economic depression.

It would be a disservice to our members if we did not advise you to take Y2K preparedness seriously, and provide a preparedness rationale beyond Y2K. Thus, we suggest, for those who have not already done so, a prudent consideration of the risks to your family posed by Y2K -- and the emerging generation of new threats -- and a program of preparedness, which will be the topic of Y2K -- Part 2, "So Why Prepare?"


(The second part of this series will appear in next Tuesday's Volume 99-44 Brief, which will also contain important links to government and private preparedness Web sites. The third part of this series will appear in Friday's Volume 99-44 Digest.)

--- End of their article ---

The federalist is a conservative politcal commentary, available at:

Publius Press []

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (, October 29, 1999


Thanks Robert,

Reading through this article reminds me of something that I think has been emerging gradually in the past couple of months. 1998 and the first three fourths of 1999 were a time of huge uncertainty and disparate opinion regarding Y2K.

Perhaps I am the first, but I am getting the feeling that something more definite is emerging. Y2K will be very harsh, but not necessarily on North America's infrastructure. Y2K will be marked by economic slumps of different degrees around the world, and very likely terrorism or war. The pollys will refer to past depressions and wars saying that it really isn't Y2K so much as it is just a lot of things. Nonetheless Y2K is real, it is signifigant, and it will hit us in the pocketbook--at some point it will hit us hard in the pocketbook.

As the author said, in the world of money perception informs reality. Before long both perception and reality will be riding a sled downhill. The last remaining retaining wall, very likely, is the American stock market. The new idol of the 20th century certainly receives more respect than any graven image I have ever heard of. The stock market is bowed down to throughout the entire week, whereas most ordinary idolators will at least wait for the weekend before they light a candle to their false god.

I would be intersted if anyone else out there has a feeling that a clearer image is starting to emerge, even while the majority don't seem to want to react. Perhaps the analogy of the gradually warmed frog would be useful: when the water is finally boiling the frog is still in the water. I really feel that something is in our atmosphere that was not there before, yet the majority does not acknowlege it.

Am I the only one who feels like the hand writing is starting to appear on the wall? And that the words are, again, "Your kingdom has been wighed and is found wanting . . ."?

-- Rick (, October 29, 1999.

When the market found what looks like a real bottom this week and took off again, I had this image of a F1 racer absolutely flooring it, heading off at 200+ MPH through the fog, toward a bump of unknown size. It hit the bump at year end and "grabbed air". Not a pretty sight.

"weighed, found wanting, and divided"

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), October 29, 1999.

I can't get into Religious questions per se, but there is no doubt that the coverups are starting to unravel in the last few weeks. Note that the IRS was excluded from the House and Senate committees reporting and this was noted by Congressman Steve Horn. Now, it appears that they are still in the INVENTORY stage.

Now, it is beginning to look like 1/3 of small business is toast, 40% medium size business will not finish. Just today at the Hearings in Washington, the dude testifying from the Executive Branch was having nervous twiches and weird body language about the "tremendous progress"...twitch, grimace, grimace, tick, twitch..."since last year."

Look, I'm still at a 5+ but less than 7 in my expectations, and the last 2 weeks have only strengthened my resolve...I expect more disclosures to get the bad news on the record this year. I may be wrong, but my understanding of the Y2K liability limitation act affords no protection from charges of Civil and Criminal Fraud, and I look for these disclosures starting in earnest mid November through mid December.

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in, October 29, 1999.

Robert-I agree. Great sumation. Rick - I can't agree. Everything is as clear as mud. I have far more questions and fewer convictions than I did months ago. Go back and read some threads on basic fundamentals such as embedded processes or oil supply. Not only is there a lack of consensus, there's increasing polarization. It shouldn't be called computer SCIENCE. ITS THE GREAT MILLENIUM ENIGMA! COOL!

-- Downstreamer (, October 29, 1999.


Your post gets the reward for the most awesome, most informative under-fifty-words post ever.

-- Rick (, October 29, 1999.

I have had the feeling (and knowledge) for at least 6 months now that Y2k may still be about disruptions in utilities, etc., but more importantly it's about the economy. THE ECONOMY! If you recall our $100 billion bailout of Mexico several years ago in which we were told that if we didn't 'bail out' Mexico, not only would they FALL, but it would affect our economy as well and launch us into a recession at the very least. With the exception of Pat Buchanon and a few other 'radicals', Washington DC gave it a collective "GO FOR IT!". They did pay us back....however...

When the word began to circulate earlier this year that Y2k was not going to affect the US, but instead all the other countries 'overseas', all the pigs in Washington and the pollys everywhere said "Yeahhhhh, we WILL be OK. Thank goodness we don't live in (pick a country)". So.... China, Russia, Italy, Venuzuela, most of Africa, Britain, many Middle Eastern countries, Argentina, Chile, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Spain, Portugal, (can I stop now?) will have many problems with compliance - both with code, embedded chips, etc., however their economic problems and infrastructure failures will somehow not affect the United States.

Okay, lets wrap it up. One of the poorest countries in our hemisphere will bring us down if they fail economicly ( I do admit they are a large trading partner), however half the other industrialized countries in the world as well as the countries that supply 55% of our oil will fail or have at the least - major problems - yet we 'high five' and congratulate ourselves on our good fortune that we are OK and will not be affected.

Where are the investment firms? Where are the politicians? Where is Pat Buchanon? Where is the media? Where is the concern, period?

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES FOLKS. Where's that little girl when you need her.....? And what's up with Wall Street?

-- mark (, October 29, 1999.


Well said. As to Wall Street, we are witnessing a group of filthy rich individuals manipulating the stock prices of two industries every 2-3 days in order to cover up the real Wall Street story, the mutual fund "cost averaging" down slide by individual investors who have been slowly waking up to the reality of what Y2K is going to mean and have been taking their money out of the market these past few months. It only promises to get worse as time progresses.

Those BIG daily losses and then those BIG daily gains every week have fooled some of the people...those who are least educated and totally ignorant about investing in the stock market. It's why this type investor has a mutual fund in the first place, it's the ONLY type "investment" they know how to make, and even then, they couldn't tell you how much their portfollio is worth if their life depended on it. Then NEVER watch any financial news, because they are not educated enough to understand it, even if they tried. It's sad in a way because these are the folks who can least afford to lose all their retirement investment especially when, in the near future, they are going to be the first employees given the "pink slip" because of the certain global recession/depression that those same investment advisors (who encouraged them to sign-up for a pay-roll deduction 401- k plan in the first place) are now silent about, all to willing to let these people (who should have never been in the market in the first place) take the fall.

The market has fallen steadily during the last two months. Yesterday and today were big UP days. Monday - Wednesday next week will be BIG down days. You heard it here first.


-- GoldReal (, October 29, 1999.

Goldreal, hopefully your post will be the last time we hear it.

Goldbugs love to tell us that financial TEOTWAWKI is coming, "just watch the POG !", "Dont trust the numbers", "the powers that be control the DOW" and "its all going to hell any day now".

Kids, if you dont participate in the "Wheel Of Fortune" called the DOW, thats fine, but dont be fooled into thinking its controlled by old bald men sitting in ivory towers. Sure people of influence can, well, influence the markets but they cannot control it so much that they see how it will go each day. Its not a script run by Greenspan and his minions.

The "bugs" act like they know whats going on, but they are wrong almost all the time. When the POG goes north we here it from the "bugs", after the fact. Chicken-littles who always scream "The Dow is falling" get it right eventually, just like the crazy man sitting on a park bench who says "Looks like rain today" eventually gets his weather forecast just right.

Y2K IS NOT ON THE MIND OF THE MARKET. It will take an actual y2k catastrophy to get the DOW (or other market) to move based on y2k sentiment.

Gold is trading where it belongs. Gold is not going to 400 or higher unless we have a catastrophy that even children can understand.

-- hamster (, October 29, 1999.


Even the good bulls on CNBC predeicted that massive amount of money would leave the market on Monday. So now you heard it twice.

-- y2k dave (, October 29, 1999.


You are very nieave. You live in that same fantasy world that the 95% populace of sheeple do. Baaaaa Baaaa.

-- @@@@@ (@@@@.@), October 29, 1999.


Hey, you UNlucked out just happened to be on the wrong thread at the wrong time...

Today is Friday, October 29, 1999. I predict that by Wednesday MORNING of NEXT WEEK the dow will be at least 50 points LOWER than it was on Wednesday (of this week), October 27, 1999. Ahhh...but who is going to notice it? Noone, because by then the market will have gone through a BIG micro-cycle (is this an oxymoron?)of two days of BIG gains followed by three days of MODEST losses resulting in a NET loss that NOONE will be talking about but is the REAL story of what's happening in the market.

And who is driving this "hide the market slide" game of smoke-and- mirrors? The same people who benefit the most from joe sixpack being in the market through mutual funds...the Filthy Rich. These rats (hamster DOES have an appropriate name) are the same Plutocratic slime-bags who extract their unearned "measure" of the workers wages through the REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH scam otherwise known as the Stock Market.

Yeah, the Stock Market of the last 30 years has become nothing more than a well thought out scam that efficiently picks the pockets of the working class and puts it into the bank accounts of the Filthy Rich. This is where the REAL "Redistribution of Wealth" has taken place during the last 30 years.

It USE to be that business sold stocks to raise capital or expand because the business was too "high risk" to qualify for a bank loan. Not any more. Today, companies who post RECORD PROFITS year after year are selling more and more stock to reward their FILTHY RICH BUDDIES who own hundreds of thousands of shares of stock in their company, instead of buying back company stock or even better, returning the profits to the workers in the form of increased wages, benefits and number of workers. Afterall, it's the mid to low level managers and workers who actually provide the product or service the company sells. But they are "second class" citizens, who the Corporate FILTHY RICH don't play golf with or fly off to Aruba for a $60,000.00 luxery weekend with.

For the last 30 years or so, these Ronald Reagan and George Bush Types have figured out how to take company profits and give it to their HARVARD type buddies instead of giving it back to the low to mid-level managers and blue collar employees who actually do the work that results in the profits in the first place.

And now, even with Y2K in sight, these same FILTHY RICH (who have most of their filth, I mean wealth, stashed safely away by now and are only playing the market with "Mad Money") are arrogantly calling for calm from those of us who stand to be hurt the most and the worst by the Y2K economic meltdown that's just beginning to shape up (Reported today that new home sales droped over 12%...Get it?).

Yeah, it's arrogant to tell everyone to stay calm when you know YOU are okay but 92% of everyone else isn't. Further, it's these arrogant Filthy Rich Top Executives who allowed this known, fixable Y2K problem to fester for YEARS because they didn't want to allocate the resources necessary to correct it BECAUSE THAT WOULD HAVE CUT PROFITS WHICH IN TURN GO TO THEIR FILTHY RICH STOCKHOLDER BUDDIES AND YOU WOULDN'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN NOW WOULD YOU???

Yeah, it's arrogant to spew Y2K "Stay Calm" "No Problems" "Everything is OKAY" propaganda just so you can squeeze another drop or two of worker blood for your own financial benefit during these last days before Y2K takes full effect. I know you have no shame...and make decisions without reguard to the well being of others who don't run with your crowd, but noone lives in a vacuum...NOONE. Not even the FILTHY RICH.

It's inhuman to deceive middle and lower class citizens who don't have the time or the resources to investigate the Y2K problem for themselves because IT NOW TAKES TWO PEOPLE WORKING FULL TIME DAY AND NIGHT TO MAKE THE SAME MONEY ONE WORKER 30 YEARS AGO MADE, JUST TO LIVE A MODEST MIDDLE CLASS LIFESTYLE.

Yeah, I also know the "who" "how" and "why" which has directly caused the meltdown of the MORALS in society during these "last 30 years". Corporate Executives are the WHO and the Stock Market is HOW and Power and Control over the masses is WHY. With both husband and wife working full time and still not making enough money to afford quality childcare and after school guidance, OF COURSE THE MORALS OF SOCIETY ARE GOING TO SUFFER SOONER OR LATER. Well, it's now "Later" and "We the People" are suffering the the Filthy Rich decide to "help out" by making Health Care FOR PROFIT so noone but them can afford it resulting in one parent being FORCED to stay home to care for sick family members. (You DID eventually lose on the FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT though......HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH) hmmmmm

I see just one problem for Corporate America..."WE THE PEOPLE..." STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE, unless Y2K is a complete disaster resulting in the fall of government at which time the FILTHY RICH take over and.......hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Unless you are a piece -of-ice Filthy Rich rodent, you are going to suffer both physically and mentally because of the GREED of the FILTHY RICH who were aware but didn't ACT in time to solve this Y2K problem because that would have cut profits meaning they wouldn't get their $150 MILLION DOLLAR BONUS but instead, would have had to settle for maybe a $20 MILLION DOLLAR BONUS. That just wasn't acceptable, was it.

Okay, you won the "class war", but the battle isn't over fact, it's just beginning. Stay tuned. This promises to get very interesting when hundreds of starving men, women and children come'a knocking at your front door...and your back door...and your side door...and your windows...and your neighbors doors and windows...and their neighbors doors and windows...etc... ALL AT ONCE, non-stop, until...

See you later Mr. and Mrs. Filthy Rich.


-- GoldReal (, October 29, 1999.


You sound just like my buddy, Jimmy C. - Show me?

-- Patrick (, October 30, 1999.


That is the best compliment anyone has ever given me. But no, I am not nuts.


-- GoldReal (, October 30, 1999.

I don't understand such filth, I mean wealth, envy. I don't know a single person who doesn't play the lottery without a desire to win several million pieces of filth, I mean dollars. Once they win that money, they will not give it away to all the other people who bought lottery tickets. Instead, they'll keep it, and enjoy it. Of course, they won't then be like the FILTHY RICH, since they will presumably somehow be more pure at heart.

-- SugarRay (, October 30, 1999.


I'm talking billions...hundreds of billions.

Millionairs are just as arrogant as billionairs, yes. But millionairs don't have the means to influence the stock market, government policies and whole economies in quite the same manner as multi- billionairs.

My statements stand.

-- GoldReal (, October 30, 1999.

Ever check out the daily Dow chart at someplace like CBS's On the down days, there seems to be a lot of buyers jumping in at about 3PM, which brings the average up and results in a close which was higher than the mid-day trend would have predicted.

Daily cycle, or Plunge Protection in action?

-- Cherokee (, October 31, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ