This is the headline story in todays Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contains all the usual wording about glitches, common sense, muggings, 99.9% compliant ect, ect.

Computers ready for Y2K; cash ready for skeptics

Say what you will about misplaced fear, even bedrock-solid types in the banking industry are conceding this: Some Americans will be just skittish enough about the prospects of Y2K computer glitches causing some minor interruptions in basic services come Jan. 1 that they will withdraw more cash than usaul from their accounts.

In this world of credit cards and ATM's that provide access to cash at any time of the day and night, the Average Joe who may carry $10 in his wallet on a given day is apt to be carrying more come Y2K, bankers say.

Just in case. Just in case some computers once programmed to read only the last two digits of the year still think the arrival of 2000 is really 1900.

In fact, Iowa banks have begun spending as much time assuring customers that bank computers are ready for Y2K as they are cautioning customers about the threat of crimes that can come with lining wallets and mattresses with too much cash, says Ben Hilderbrandt, vice president for marketing and public affairs for the Iowa Banking Association.

"Our big concern right now is the safety of you," say Hilderbrandt.

Guaranty Bank and Trust Co. in Cedar Rapids is not unlike nost financial institutions in that the vault in its main bank downtown will hold more currency than it normally would at the end of the year, says Robert D. Becker, president and chief executive officer.

Becker is quick to add that the bank will beef up security , too.

The steps have been taken because the anticipates it will hand out 5% to 10% more cash than normal as 1999 readies to turn into 2000. The extra cash will go to account holders edgy about Y2K.

That leaves Becker scratching his head a little bacause he says his bank has worked two years to ensure that its computer systems are Y2K-compliant. He says the bank has successfully tested its systems by moving the date ahead as if year 2000 already had arrived, and the bank as lso will have a backup computer system in place just in case.

"Being educated in both computers and(banking) infrastructure, I see absolutely no reason for anybody to take out extra money." Becker says. "Its just a lot of hoopla about nothing."

Nonetheless, he says the Federal reserve Systems has strongly encouraged banks to have more cash on hand to satisfy the wishes of customers.

In fact, the Federal Reserve System has arranged for $50 billion more in currency to be printed than otherwise would have been needed to ensure that customers who want more cash than usual can have it, says Suzanne Heffner, media relations manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The systems will have a total "cushion" of $200 billion in currency to provide for a worst-case scenario, Heffner says.

She say the $200 billion figure was arrived at with a certain mix of science and art and came earlier this year when there was slightly less confidence than today about the banking systems preparedness.

"We're not expecting people to use this, but should that play out, we are ready," Heffner says.

She says 99.9 percent of all federally insures financial institutions now have achieved the highest rating possible in Y2K readiness.

A survey by the Gallup Organization, released last week by the Federal Reserve System, showed bank customers are less uneasy about Y2K than they had been in March.

90% of consumers surveyed expressed confidence in their banks, while 39% said they would take extra cash out at the end of the year. That compares with 62% in March who said they would take extra cash out. Most of those making the withdrawls will take less than $500, the survey says.

In Iowa, 100% of the state-chartered banks and credit unions have been ready for Y2K since September, reports the Iowa Banking Association's Hildebrandt.

Your financial institutions remains the safest place for your money, he asuures.

Come the end of the year. he says, there's nothing wrong with people withdrawing a little extra cash as if they are preparing for a big winter storm.

"But remember," Hildebrandt says, "When you take it out of the bank it is no longer protected by the FDIC. And if the winds blows it away or you're mugged, then the money is gone."

Steve Dale, Firstar Corp. spokeman, say people are entitled to their money, and it they want it, they can have it.

"Unfortunately, when you take a lot of cash out the bank, you set yourself up for being victims," Dale says.

To date, he says, Firstar customers are using "commen sense".

Save your banks statements-as you always should-and go have fun New Years Eve, he says. Firstar empoyesss will be manning the bank's infrastructure just in case something unexpected happens.

"We want people to know we'll be here", Dale says.

Guaranty's Backer recalls the visit of Comet Hyakutake a few years back every times someone asks him if a Y2K computer glitch is going to diable the American banking system as the new year arrives.

"Hyakutake was going to be the most brilliant light int he sky," Becker recalls. "It was going to be 10 times brighter than Halley'c comet.."

He recalls people stocking up on food and soem worrying that a piece of comets debris might his Earth.

"And when Hyakutake finally came, not only was it no big deal, you couldn't even see it with the naked eye," Becker says. "Thats a good analogy for what I believe that Y2K ussue to be. Our kids will laugh about it."

-- y2k dave (, November 28, 1999


Mr.Mossberg and Mr. Glock as well as myself are responsible for my households safty.All the bankers need to concern themselves with is giving us our money.

-- zoobie (, November 28, 1999.

---I will gladly hold any nervous nellies cash and coin until......well, whenever.....Announcing!The first Bank of zog! My old footlocker is 100% independently audited and tested y2k compliant! Statements are available for public viewing--well, right here, right now! Complies with all *A.I.T. regulations! Don't be a- skeered, I'll take good care of your cash! really! Small deposit fees apply, as well as lots of handling charges, over head, underground, and sideways fees. Sorry, no checking services available at this time. Also, no bank card services. For your security and protection, no address or phone number on file anywhere, so no bad guys can find your cash! Please mail your cash and gold to PO box 1,000,000, Banco du zog, Cayman Islands.

It's almost midnight, december 31st, do you know where your civilization is?

* Armed Independent Taxpayer

-- zog (, November 28, 1999.

[Thanks for postin the article, y2kdave]

"We want people to know we'll be here", Dale says.

- That is comforting news, Dale!
And I want you to know that my money will be with me, in various forms! Cheers!

-- faith'nhope (, November 28, 1999.

I wonder if any of these banking intelligencias read The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor? There is more to this than the compliancy of banks; much more. I read it three times and believe me it is the best information on the whole picture not just y2k and bank readiness. Anyone interested in the whole story backed by fact call: 800-528-0559 for a free report.

Find out how worthless cash is and what will happen to it.

How the economy is already on the brink.

What has happenend to manufacturing since 1980.

See how the government has pumped up the economy to keep the stock market alive and well.

We are headed for an Inflationary Depression!

The danger of derivatives.

Read about the overextended consumer.

The real national debt.

The frenzy in the stock market and how shares far outvalue the worth of the company. ( example AOL's IPO is .359 cents yet the stock is selling at 167.00 a share yet they have lost millions yet claim value at 150 billion at the same time CBS has only 24.7 billion market cap. AOL's stock is 465 times its worth. In the real world AOL is broke)

Stock market manipulation.

The new money precious minerals.

The publicity stunts that worked in y2k tests.

The danger of an electronic run on the banks (business)

Rebublicans join Clinton in sacking gun owners.

Y2k effects.

and Practical considerations.

This book is truely an eye opener!!

-- Susan Barrett (, November 28, 1999.

The one thing these banksters NEVER say -- which, by strange coincidence, is the OVERRIDING reality -- is that if you take your money out of the bank, THEY are screwed!

They are SO pathetically transparent.

It's like having the grocery stores tell you, "If you stop buying your groceries, you'll STARVE to death. And so will your CHILDREN!!!"

How about a little HONESTY, Bankieboyz?

How about 'fessing up?

How about letting on to YOUR terror of what will happen to YOU if people take THEIR money out?

It ain't about *them* getting mugged, or now, the absolute silliest piece of BS I've heard yet -- the *wind* blowing their money away -- it's about YOU losing your plush ass if people look at THEIR own interests ahead of YOURS.

How typically Bankerly. Look to your own self-interests first, and then lie to your customers, to try to fool them into thinking that it's in THEIR best interest to give it all up to protect YOU.

Well, twankus gruppen, it looks like it ain't gonna happen.

The latest polls I've seen make it pretty damn clear that a LOT of people will be taking a LOT of money out of the banks.

So how honest does that leave your "leave it with us" pleas NOW?

Maybe you can tell 'em that if they take it home, a Big Bad Wolf will stand outside huffin' and puffin'.

You've already got the huffin' and puffin' part down pat, so the presentation should be a cinch.

And the Federal Reserve?

How the steeenkin' hell is it gonna protect EVERY bank?

It was designed to bail out a bank here, a bank there, but NO WAY can it possibly bail out a SLEW of banks nationwide.

It's no different from homeowners insurance. Too much risk to cover, and the company goes under.

Why do bankers have to lie?

-- Ron Schwarz (, November 28, 1999.

See what happens when I read articles before I've had my coffee? [g]

-- Ron Schwarz (, November 28, 1999.

Come on, people! There are TWO issues here: (1) Where do banks really stand in terms of compliance?; and (2) WHO suffers if there are bank runs?

These questions are really unrelated, despite the sophmoric efforts to tie them together. Bank runs can happen (and have happened) for reasons other than fear of computer screwups. And computers have screwed up without any bank runs.

Yes, yes, yes, if too many people withdraw cash, the banks are hurt. The bankers are hurt. The banking system is hurt. *Your employer* is hurt. The economy is hurt. YOU are hurt. Maybe not quite as quickly or as thoroughly as the bankers, but you're hurt nevertheless. Yes, you have your money "safely" out of the system. Good for you. Of course, your selection of what you can *buy* with that money might be terrible, and prices might be terrible, and your ability to *replenish* that money might be hosed, but YES, your money is SAFE! Right? Right! When you kill the golden goose, only the goose loses, right? Right!

I doubt that every bank's computers are as compliant as they keep claiming. I'd be amazed if there weren't some screwups. I can see the virtue of letting *other people* be the guinea pigs. But don't let your animosity toward "lying bankers" blind you to what a banking system actually does. Even a rotten tree will kill you when it falls on you.

-- Flint (, November 28, 1999.

No, there's ONE issue here: the fact that unless mass quantities of people are lying through their teeth, they *will* be taking their money out of the banks, and it would appear that they'll be doing it in sufficient numbers to create a massive failure of the banking system.

The fact that the bankers are disingenuous slime, looking only to cover their asses, no matter how great the cost to you, and no matter how little the benefit to them, is merely the icing on the cake.

-- Ron Schwarz (, November 28, 1999.

I sure hope that Mr. Becker knows more about banks and computers than he does about astronomy. Nobody predicted that Hyakutake was going to be a stunningly brilliant comet; in fact, it caught astronomers by surprise (everybody was waiting for the big Hale-Bopp show the next year) as it was discovered only a few months before its closest approach to earth. Hyakutake, a small comet, put on a good show because it passed within 10 million miles of earth (that's close by astronomical standards!) and, despite what Mr. Becker says, was easily visible to the naked eye. It became slightly brighter than magnitude 2 (the human eye can see objects as faint as magnitude 6 in dark skies); here in southern NM I saw its tail stretching for some 40 degrees across the sky, and professional astronomers atop an Arizona mountain saw its tail stretching for 60 degrees. All of these observations were without any optical aid. Comet Hyakutake was a fine sight.

-- Don Florence (, November 28, 1999.

How much money do people REALLY have in banks? Do they have checking accounts with $20,000 or more? Since the passbook savings rate in the US is in the negatives (-1.8% last time I saw a number), that means virtually NOBODY has a savings account. So, if you are cleaning out your checking account, and it has $11.23 in it, while the next guy in line cleans his out with $66.50, how many of these guys will it take to empty the bank? A lot fewer than we have been estimating. The RUN on the bank isn't what your banker fears: It's the loss of data. If the power goes off and the phones go down for more than a week, he's screwed, blued, and tattooed. All his money is in bits and bytes. All together now: "Aww-w-w-w-w-w!!!"

-- Liz Pavek (, November 28, 1999.


Thanks for the tip. I am certain I have read of most of these details in other publications, but a new one never hurts.

You mention a free report, but then say it is a book.

Which is the free one? What is the book called?

As for the comet, another ridiculous straw-man. Why didn't he mention something that is in REAL danger of bringing down the whole world-wide infrastructure (and I'm NOT talking Y2K). That is the solar maximum next year, when solar flares and sunspots will be at their worst in 11 years. In fact, this will be the FIRST time that we will have such a JIT, computerized standard of living WITH a solar maximum cycle.

There is almost NO margin of safety were any large solar flare to hit the Earth. We would all be skewered if this happens. No wonder NASA has that ACE satellite out there in far-earth orbit to give ONE measly hour warning in the event of a massive flare heading towards Earth that toasts the satellite first, then the planet!

Now ask yourself this: Why would they even bother with this if they didn't think there was a more-than-minimal chance of it happening, and what exactly are these plans that can be implemented within an hour to try to save our infrastructur/grid?

Hey, if you thought utilities were silent on Y2K, can you imagine them telling us anything about their 1-HOUR doomsday plans for a solar flare?

We won't even know about it until it's upon us and we find ourselves in the dark.

-- profit of doom (, November 28, 1999.

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