Fed's Moscow urges public not to overreact to Y2k

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Tuesday December 7 11:27 AM ET

Fed's Moskow Urges Public Not to Overreact to Y2K

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Michael Moskow again urged the U.S. public not to overreact to fears of year-end computer problems by withdrawing large sums of cash from bank accounts.

Moskow, in a speech prepared for a news conference on the Y2K computer bug, said the Fed was confident there would be no disruptions in the central bank's ability to meet the needs of banks and the government in the transition to the year 2000.

``We encourage the public not to overreact,'' Moskow said. ''There is still concern that popular misconceptions about Y2K could lead some people to withdraw large sums of money from their bank accounts.'' A text of Moskow's remarks was released to reporters in advance of delivery.

The Fed has made ``more than enough'' cash available to banks to cover any unusually large demands for cash by the public, he added.

The Y2K computer bug arises because older computer software identified the year using only the last two digits, raising the possibility computers could read ``00'' as 1900 rather than 2000.

But U.S. officials have stated repeatedly they do not expect the country's infrastructure or banking system to be hampered by the computer bug.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), December 07, 1999


>> ``We encourage the public not to overreact,'' Moskow said. <<

As a member of the public, I would be more than happy to comply with Mr. Moskow's request not to overreact to Y2K. But, the tricky part is knowing how to differentiate between a reaction and an overreaction. Does it work out to a dollar amount? Or a percentage of income? Or a percentage of savings? Or...wait. How *can* anyone decide when I'm overreacting?

Oh well. I'll just have to go with my own judgement on that. But I suppose *whatever* I decide to do couldn't really be an overreaction, since, after all, it is MY judgement and MY money and I am the one taking the risk. Just like always.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), December 07, 1999.

-- ff (x@g.b), December 07, 1999.

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