"Wall Street's Y2K Alarmist turns optimist" - Article in today's Globe & Mail (Toronto)

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

While munching on my Raisan Bran I noticed this article on Page 1 of the Report on Business section of the Globe and Mail. Haven't the time to look to see if the article is on-line (maybe Link has a spare minute?) but a couple of snips will give the flavour:


A mere 33 days before zero hour, Edward Yardeni....turned the other cheek and declared himself an optimist.

In an e-mail message to clients [maybe somebody can find the text to this message?] the chief economist who once counted himself amongst Y2K alarmists - many thought of him as chief alarmist - said he is "feeling more optimistic and bullish about the future beyond the year 2000 problem".

[end snip]

Well, well, well.....

(I did a search of recent thread titles using "Yardeni" and didn't come up with anything, but apologies if this has already been posted.)

-- Johnny Canuck (j_canuck@hotmail.com), November 30, 1999


Who's ready, Who's Not?

-- Lane Core Jr. (elcore@sgi.net), November 30, 1999.

From his newsletter of November 28, 1999

"COMMENT: As we enter the holiday season, I am feeling more optimistic and bullish about the future beyond the Year 2000 Problem. At the start of the decade, I argued that the end of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was a wildly bullish development. It marked the end of the greatest trade barrier of all times. Markets became truly global and much more competitive. Competition has kept a lid on prices forcing companies to cut costs, increase productivity, and to innovate. Now, at the end of the decade, China has agreed to join the World Trade Organization and open its markets to free trade for the first time in history."

-- Andre Coltrin (andre@caselaw.com), November 30, 1999.

Merry Christmas! Everybody is feeling so good. China may trade back a product to us which we helped her develop. Oh so warm and fuzzy. Somebody please pour some eggnog for the code. Wouldn't want the computers to feel left out of the holiday cheer.

-- Smiley Face (feelin@good.these.days), November 30, 1999.

Intellectually dishonest "snipping" or oblivious reading. Yardeni has been saying that for awhile as a cya tactic. If you read what he goes on to say, you'll realize that his views have not changed. " I am feeling more optimistic and bullish about the future beyond the Year 2000 Problem." Beyond the year 2000 problem is fully consistent with his "Dow 15,000 by 2005" proclamation common to all his writings.

Well, well, well...

-- Dave (aaa@aaa.com), November 30, 1999.

Also in the same email from Dr. Yardeni:
"I conclude we have nothing to fear but greed itself...and Y2K, of course."
I don't believe that Dr. Yardeni's assessment of the potential impact of Y2K has changed substancially. A couple months back, roughly the same claim was made by a reporter who interviewed him and Dr. Yardeni eventually issued a clarification.

He has indicated on many occassions that believes Y2K will not be TEOTHW, and the initially quoted statement reflects that - i.e. that problems will ocvur but that we will eventually get through them and that once we do, the economic outlook is good.

Thus, I don't belive that the most current mailing of "Dr Ed's Economic Network" indicates any fundamental shift in his Y2K thinking.

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), November 30, 1999.


"belive" should have read "believe"

"TEOTHW" should have read "TEOTW"

That's what I get for attempting communication BC (before coffee)

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), November 30, 1999.

People moderating their opinions as the event draws closer? Makes sense. Koskinen is moving towards "Why didn't you prepare? I kind of sort of told you to." just in case he's wrong, so it makes sense that doomers (well, Bigger than BITR'ers) will build a paper trail of "On the other hand..." articles that they can use to defend themselves if it's silky smooth. That's just human nature, it signifies nothing without evidence to back it either way.

-- Colin MacDonald (roborogerborg@yahoo.com), November 30, 1999.

It's just the headline.

I think Yardeni is still concerned, if not more so by the continuing disconnect between what the CIOs are saying about themselves and what they expect from everyone else. They're still pessimistic about their own success, but they expect everyone else to be okay.

I may not need all 6 months of food for my family alone, or the solar panels and batteries, but I'm still glad I have them.

-- nothere nothere (notherethere@hotmail.com), November 30, 1999.

I don't see that his views have changed. If he wants to continue to work in the banking or brokerage industry, he can't be too negative, regardless of what he really thinks. Having a negative view on y2k is very unpolular right now, and I admire Yardeni for taking the position that he has, although I am more pessimistic than he is.

-- Danny (dcox@ix.netcom.com), November 30, 1999.

According to Gary Beach, Publisher of CIO magazine, "One in five large companies is racing to finish by the end of December. Some are going to make it, some aren't. Even those finishing will not have enough time to adequately test and verify their work. This concerns me." - from the same article.

And this is GOOD news?? 20% of companies not finished and of the 80% done, many not tested?? I see only confusion and lots of gambling and crossed fingers...just the same as we had in 1998 when I first heard of this whole conundrum.

-- Laurane (familyties@rttinc.com), November 30, 1999.

said he is "feeling more optimistic and bullish about the future beyond the year 2000 problem".

That means to me that he is "feeling more optimistic and bullish" after all the Y2K issues have gone away. But, how many months/years will it take for them to go away?

-- Uncle Bob (UNCLB0B@Tminus31&counting.down), November 30, 1999.

I thought Dr. Yardeni's latest mailing was pretty polly. Of course, yes, he's under a lot of pressure. I think at this point we'll see what we will see. I hope to God he's right, but, if not, then we'll deal with it. Those of us with supplies on hand, that is...

How could this mess not take down the economy at least, I don't know. I would, however, love to return to my home in NYC and pursue my career.

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), November 30, 1999.

Face it, Yardeni is a polly. He always has been. He has only seemed otherwise because he is the only high profile economist to acknowledge that y2k will have any detrimental impact *at all*!

His consistent message:

- There *could* be a recession

- The economy will be springing back to life after y2k effects are over, probably by the second half of the year 2000 (so even if there is a recession, it's a rather short one).

- There is nothing *fundamentally* wrong with the market or the economy.

- As such, we can look forward to "DOW 15,000 by 2005".

Add it up and what does it spell: Bump-in-the-road (BITR)

You don't think so? Why would any 'long term' holder of equities sell if the DOW was expected to rise by about 66% in 5 years (from where he first made the prediction)? Answer, they wouldn't.

Yardeni sees y2k problems as simply a short-term setback (bump) on the road of ever increasing prosperity.

Yardeni will be thought a bigger fool than those predicting no impact from y2k because, having studied it extensively, he didn't have either the insight or the 'guts' to connect the dots and tell it straight.

-- Me (me@me.me), November 30, 1999.

MeMe, Recession=BITR??? Why would anyone sell if the market was going up 50% in 5 years. When people start losing their jobs they can't very well contribute to their 401(k) or mutual fund. In fact, they may just have to sell their mutual funds to make up for lost incomes (paying mortgages - stuff like that). Also if little Billy and Suzie are heading for college in the next three years mom and dad can't be too speculative with the tuition money now can they. There a dozens of other dynamics in the financial markets, thems but a few.

We need a reality check here boys and girls. A recession is not a BITR. If experiencing a depression is the only possible result you'll accept as proof that Y2K had serious consequences then your perception of history and economics need work. This ain't no video game. If (when) Y2K causes sufficient disruptions to send the US into a recession and many parts of the world into a depression, the GIs will be able to say "told ya so".

-- gary (you@you.you), November 30, 1999.

Small thread: Ed Yardeni - My latest assessment of Y2K

Dr. Ed has always stated that he was optimistic about the future post-Y2K. That fact that this "future" begins in 2005 should give one pause.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), November 30, 1999.

From that very article, Who's Ready, Who's Not? Y2K EXPERTS POLL FINDS BUSINESS DASHING TO FINISH LINE:

"The supply chain data paint a picture of unaudited, informal internal progress reports and supplier assessments. It appears that the respondents' optimism is based more on hope and trust than fact," observes Yardeni.

Beach concurs, "The lack of third-party verification of suppliers is a red flag telling all of us these companies do not know whether they or suppliers will pass or fail the Y2K test at midnight on December 31st."

Conclusion: Yardeni concludes, "The poll results suggest widespread optimism (91%) based on very little hard evidence. Y2K experts remain remarkably optimistic even though many of them report they are not yet completely ready thirty days out from the digital date change and they seem to be falling behind schedule." Cangemi adds, "At this late date, the coalition encourages all organizations that have not fully completed their projects to fashion contingency plans focusing on possible malfunctions and failures of the systems that are still under remediation or in testing."

It seems denialists can extract whatever interpretive perspective they deem appropos, regardless of the facts. I think the reality is much more bleek!

-- faith'nhope (y2kaos@home.com), November 30, 1999.

"Unfortunately, I seem to have confused a few reporters recently about my stance on Y2K. On November 30, the Dow Jones Newswire posted a story headlined, "Yardeni Turns Upbeat About Effects of Y2K." It was based on a short e-mail I sent on Sunday evening to my Yardeni.com mailing lists with links to my latest commentary in which I said I was getting into the holiday spirit and feeling more optimistic about the future beyond the Year 2000 Problem. I've always been optimistic about the future BEYOND Y2K! Hey, I did have a happy childhood.

I promised in my last e-mail message to update my views on Y2K. My latest YEAR 2000 REPORTER titled "Final Answer?" is now posted at www.yardeni.com/y2kreporter.html".

He appears to be on target to me.

-- Tommy Rogers (Been there@Just a Thought.com), November 30, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ