Amazing candor at y2k conference? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I just read the transcript from the last McAlvaney radio show over on Hyatt's site concerning the Year 2000 Symposium put on by Brainstorm 2000 in New York City. It was suposedly the last major y2k conference before the rollover, and according to journalist Gordon McDonald, who attended, it was also the most candid. Assuming the transcript and the initial reporting were both accurate, it was also just about the scariest "official" y2k analysis I've ever seen. I am NOT familiar with McAlvaney, altho I understand he has a popular (?) radio show. Can anyone here vouch for him or McDonald?

One point made in the report gives it credibility for me: the prediction of a 10 percent business failure rate. Last month a good friend who was once involved in y2k community awareness gave me a clipping from a small Maine weekly newspaper, the Republican Journal of Belfast, dated August 13, 1998. (Yes, '98!) The feature concerns the y2k remediation done by a local bank, Camden National. The first paragraph says: "About 10 percent of local businesses will fail because of the y2k problem." It goes on to quote the chairman and the president/CEO of the bank as saying they had been warned by "federal regulators" to expect the default of 1 percent of their business loans due to y2k, as well as the failure of 10 percent of their businesses. To me, those are astonishing numbers to have come out that early in the game, from official sources, and nowhere were they later denied or corrected. Have they been around and I missed them? How can anyone claim that the rollover will be an economic BITR with numbers like that?

Obviously this is a small bank in a small town quoted in a newspaper so small that it didn't even have a web site. It obviously didn't make a ripple in awareness at the time. But it gives that 10 percent prediction a history and gives the McAlvaney report some credibility.

-- Cash (, November 18, 1999


Shrugs. It's just a guess. If it was 9.67%, then there might be some data behind it that you could try and verify, but 10% is just a number out of the air. I'd be worried if it was specific figure based on recent data, with the data source to back it up. Trouble is, we don't have that. :(

Also, as it's to do with bank preparations, it's fair to assume it's a worst case figure. Bankers are cautious little creatures. What I'd be very interested in seeing is a recent insurance industry estimate of their consequent or other insured Y2K losses. Anyone?

-- Colin MacDonald (, November 18, 1999.

Gordon Mcdonald works for Koinonia House chuck misslers ministry I have nothing but the best to say about his organization. They have been trying to warn people about y2k for about 2 years. I to found some of the info in the broadcast you mentioned amazing and scary but it squares with some of my resaerch in the area.No one can say 31.4% of anything is going fail it all best guesses. 10% doesn't sound off to me.

-- john miller (, November 18, 1999.

I found the Brainstorm Group, Inc. site about the symposiums, and clicked to the site about the latest one of which you speak. Here:

I clicked on speakers, and grew increasingly impressed. 'Specially when I got to the bottom of the page and saw our own Ed Yourdon listed as a speaker!

Ed, were you there? Was it really as scary as it's been reported by Mr. McDonald? Can you give us your take on the discussions?


-- Arewyn (, November 18, 1999.

I have enjoyed Mr. McDonald's weekly report for more than a year. I have found it to be balanced and intelligent. He appears to have weathered a great deal of flack from many in the "Christian Community" because of his stand for "prudent preparation" and viewing the potential crisis as an opportunity for "Christian ministry" among one's neighbors.

You can access Gordon McDonald's weekly report on real audio at


"Gordon McDonald graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Psychology and a minor in Sociology. For the past five years, Gordon has been a senior research analyst and editor of personal UPDATE news journal with Koinonia House, and regular contributor to various other publications, and its daily radio broadcast, The Missler Report.

"Gordon was one of the first in the Christian community to recognize the seriousness of the Year 2000 problem-in particular, its potential impact on critical infrastructures-and to urge others to study the issue. Over the past year, Gordon has attended numerous Year 2000 conferences, and has interviewed many of the leading experts on this topic. Gordon has also been a speaker at several Y2K conferences, and has been interviewed on radio and television."

-- marsh (, November 18, 1999.

For what it is worth, I had heard that the FDIC was counseling member banks to expect a 15% business failure rate.

If it is now down to 10% then I suppose it is an improvement. By the way, not all of the expected failure rate is directly linked to code failures...included are business failures associated with a general decline in Business Conditions caused by public reactions, what the British call "knock on effects."

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in, November 18, 1999.

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