### Y2K Predictions from Forum Regular (including me)

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

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-post-new.tcl?topic=TimeBomb%202000%20%28Y2000%29

I asked the following questions in May 1999:

1. If the power grid fails, how long and what percentage of the U.S. will be impacted?

2. How many U.S. banks will fail in the year 2000?

3. What percentage of businesses will fail between Jan. 1, 2000, and December 31, 2000?

4. What will the U.S. unemployment rate be on July 1, 2000?

5. How far will the S&P 500 fall (percentage)?

6. How many of the 150 largest MSAs (metropolitan statistical areas) will experience serious rioting or social unrest between Jan. 1, 2000 and March 31, 2000?

7. At what level will the U.S. railroads run as of February 1, 2000 (percentage of capacity)?

8. How much will GDP drop by the end of 2000?

9. How long will it take a traveler to go from New York to Los Angeles on July 1, 2000?

10. How much will a gallon of whole milk, a loaf of white bread and dozen eggs cost on July 1, 2000?

One my favorite responses was from Paul Milne. On the thread, you'll find actual predictions from "Flint," "a," "@," "Lon," "Mr. Elbow Grease," "Rick O'Shade," "Stephen Poole," "Y2KPro," "Chuck" and more! If you want to weigh with your own predictions, feel free. I'd love to have long-time regulars like Diane Squire or Big Dog put their predictions in writing.

My own predictions were as follows:

"There will be a late 1999 correction of the U.S. market, perhaps 10 to 20 percent. The post-correction jitters will depress the holiday buying season and exacerbate Y2K fears. December will be a very crazy month.

Despite this, New Year's Eve will be the biggest party in recent memory.

On Jan 1st, the grid will function, but with some service issues. At least one utility worker will die because a generator was plugged into a residential wiring system. With the lights on, there will a short-lived "relief" rally in January, but it will fade in days as businesses and public agencies struggle with Y2K problems.

Some small independent banks will have problems, but the Federal Reserve will take immediate control and resolve liquidity issues. Some will "fail" eventually, but the true number will not be known until well after 2000, much like the S&L crisis. The government will pressure the media not to report bank problems, but an Internet-based rumor will crush at least one otherwise sound bank.

By spring, the economy will lapse into a sharp recession. We will be in a bear market and stock prices will drop to rational levels. It will hurt. Some "boomers" will delay retirement due to investment losses.

Businesses will fail throughout the year (as they always do), but there will be substantial argument over the reasons. Many firms will be seriously damaged by Y2K, but the damage will accrue over time. Some will hide it better than others. The point will be argued by economists long after everyone else is done caring about it.

By July unemployment will have doubled to over 8 percent, the S&P will be down over 30 percent. The sitting President will blame the last President. Welfare rolls will have exploded creating a new budget deficit. Democrats will propose raising taxes.

At least three major cities will suffer social unrest due to economic woes and racial tensions. This will happen when the weather is hot, not cold.

Jet service will still run between New York and Los Angeles and it will take about six hours... depending on headwinds. Milk, eggs and bread will cost about \$4.00. Food banks will report record donation levels of wheat, soybeans and canned goods.

Trucks and trains will run... rail at 95 percent of normal. Fuel prices, however, will rise and create upward price pressures.

Make no mistake, times will be hard, particularly for a "soft" public used to good times. On the Ed Yourdon forum, the pessimists will say their preparations were worth every penny.

For this economic downturn, Y2K will receive only some of the blame. Most will simply say the longest economic party in history had to end some time... Y2K was just a contributing factor in an economy driven by a speculative bubble and consumer confidence high enough to be considered crack-induced."

For the record, my 10% to 20% market correction prediction missed the mark somewhat, though we did take an autumn dip. As for the rest of the predictions, I plan to keep the thread "hot linked" for next year. If there's a post-rollover ball, we can announce the lucky winner.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 09, 1999

Ken:

Your predictions are not that far from my expectations. Never have expected the end of the world. I don't see why you are considered a polly. These are not the predictions of a polly, at least IMHO. But one question. "The sitting president will blame the last president". Who will the "sitting president" be, in your opinion. If it is BC, how, since he's been in office nearly 8 years, could he blame GWB?

-- haha (haha@haha.com), December 09, 1999.

Hey idiot, if you're goning to attempt to slander someone, how about use the correct URL. That one goes to the Post a New Thread page.

-- gheesh... (@ .), December 09, 1999.

You forgot to mention airplanes falling from the skies -- no Y2K forecast is complete without that line.

I predict there will be more computer problems in 2000 than in any prior year. Beyond that your guess is as good as mine. "Conclusions" such as a 'three-day-storm' are pure speculation.

My own guess is quite simple and leads me to a 2-4 out of 10:

- I assume organizations are making a strong effort to preserve themselves by spending money to prevent Y2K problems. I have no data to refute the "we're 99% done" press releases, so I'll assume they are generally true, at least for mission-critical software.

-- I assume the Y2K software projects will be similar to large software projects in the past -- often thought to be 'under control' until 90-95% done, then having problems and finishing late -- with many bugs to fix after launch.

-- Richard Greene (rgreene2@ford.com), December 09, 1999.

Ken:

I have a lot of information on the subject. Still, I have no information that leads me to believe that I know what will happen. Does knowing nothing stop me? Of course not. It doesn't stop anyone else. I will respond. I tend to be cryptic.

"My own predictions were as follows:

"There will be a late 1999 correction of the U.S. market, perhaps 10 to 20 percent. The post-correction jitters will depress the holiday buying season and exacerbate Y2K fears. December will be a very crazy month."

I don't think so. Why? I don't know.

"Despite this, New Year's Eve will be the biggest party in recent memory."

Doesn't look that way.

"On Jan 1st, the grid will function, but with some service issues."

Looks that way; particularly the hydro.

"At least one utility worker will die because a generator was plugged into a residential wiring system."

Add that one house will burn down because someone jerry-rigged a generator.

"With the lights on, there will a short-lived "relief" rally in January, but it will fade in days as businesses and public agencies struggle with Y2K problems."

I doubt that anyone will have noticed under these conditions. "Some small independent banks will have problems, but the Federal Reserve will take immediate control and resolve liquidity issues. Some will "fail" eventually, but the true number will not be known until well after 2000, much like the S&L crisis. The government will pressure the media not to report bank problems, but an Internet-based rumor will crush at least one otherwise sound bank."

They always do and they always do. Internet with that much power. Not yet.

"By spring, the economy will lapse into a sharp recession."

Unlikely.

"We will be in a bear market and stock prices will drop to rational levels."

There goes the BMW.

"It will hurt. Some "boomers" will delay retirement due to investment losses."

Possible.

"Businesses will fail throughout the year (as they always do), but there will be substantial argument over the reasons. Many firms will be seriously damaged by Y2K, but the damage will accrue over time. Some will hide it better than others. The point will be argued by economists long after everyone else is done caring about it."

It appears that replacement software will be the problem. "By July unemployment will have doubled to over 8 percent, the S&P will be down over 30 percent. The sitting President will blame the last President. Welfare rolls will have exploded creating a new budget deficit. Democrats will propose raising taxes. At least three major cities will suffer social unrest due to economic woes and racial tensions. This will happen when the weather is hot, not cold."

Don't think so. "Jet service will still run between New York and Los Angeles and it will take about six hours... depending on headwinds."

Don't know how often you get out of GA, but it doesn't run all that well now.

Per what unit?

"Food banks will report record donation levels of wheat, soybeans"

Do you think that anyone will eat that stuff?

"and canned goods."

Canned goods are fine. "Trucks and trains will run... rail at 95 percent of normal."

What is your percentage for trucks? They are critical. A little sloppy here.

"Fuel prices, however, will rise and create upward price pressures. Make no mistake, times will be hard, particularly for a "soft" public used to good times."

Soft. Speak for yourself Ken.

"On the Ed Yourdon forum, the pessimists will say their preparations were worth every penny."

Probably, they will. Assuming that they aren't in the service issue areas. [your analysis]. "For this economic downturn, Y2K will receive only some of the blame. Most will simply say the longest economic party in history had to end some time... Y2K was just a contributing factor in an economy driven by a speculative bubble and consumer confidence high enough to be considered crack-induced."

Probably what the economists will say; but then no one listens to them anyway.

"For the record, my 10% to 20% market correction prediction missed the mark somewhat, though we did take an autumn dip. As for the rest of the predictions, I plan to keep the thread "hot linked" for next year. If there's a post-rollover ball, we can announce the lucky winner."

There won't be any winners or losers. W

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), December 09, 1999.

This troll is still posting here? Delete, please.

[I just wanted to say this before brett@miklos.org did.]

Brett's contributions to the forum have always been as outstanding as this one-liner indicates. [grin]

Regarding your original questions, Ken, I don't see things getting as bad as you do. Ya know what, though? Borden's milk is ALREADY \$3.99/gallon....has been for a while. I still buy milk from the case three cases down...for \$1.69. This is probably the milk from cows that refused to tow the line, or cows in a sweat-shop environment.

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.com), December 09, 1999.

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000nzI

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 09, 1999.

I predict that we will suffer under the iron fist of the Amish Overlords ;^)

-- LM (latemarch@usa.net), December 09, 1999.

Folks:

Sorry about the formatting. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I've given-up trying to correct it. Ken a "troll"? Doesn't fit the MO.

Best wishes,,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), December 09, 1999.

Other predictions by Ken Decker.

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001wr1

OK guys...

For me to be "wrong," Y2K would have to result in worse than a serious recession. Let's use '73-74 as the benchmark. If we see double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment next year, I underestimated the impact of Y2K.

Even if I am "wrong" and the economic is more severe than I predicted, I doubt any of the preparations so beloved by forum regulars will make much of a difference. There will not be martial law nor will there be widespread social unrest. President Clinton will not seize power and declare himself "president-for-life." The United Nations will not take over the world and the blue sign along the road will not be used to guide UN forces to American cities.

Oh, back to reality... if we see an economic downturn, it will not manifest itself by March 31st (1Q/2000). It may take until 2Q or 3Q before the chronic problems cause enough friction to turn the economy south. We may see a market correction early in 2000, but the Dow really ought to be less than 10,000 by all reasonable indicators. Even if it drops to 7,500, I am not particularly worried... but look for me buying back in.

Oh, you can easily add Flint's terms to mine. I do think someone will die due to Y2K. Some idiot will plug their generator into home wiring and kill a utility worker or suffocate from using a combustion heating system inside the house. More than one person will BLAME Y2K for problems ranging from financial glitches to hair loss. As of March 31, 2000, however, Y2K will be declared largely a nonevent with chronic problems, but nothing close to the end of the world. Need more?

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 08, 1999.

-- (terms@now.defined), December 09, 1999.

Brett's contributions to the forum have always been as outstanding as this one-liner indicates. [grin]

Unlike yours which are mostly pathetic polly spin.

-- (brett@miklos.org), December 09, 1999.

Ken,

Let us not forget the contribution in that thread from one Mike Lang who, in praising The Mighty Milne, issued the gem "Issues are a sideline."

Those four words speak volumes, don't they?

-- Paul Neuhardt (neuhardt@ultranet.com), December 09, 1999.

Step up to the plate, Brett, and make your predictions. We'll see who's right next year. As for contributions to the forum, let me know when you make one.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), December 09, 1999.

AS IF anyone cares.

We've already decided Flint will be "right" no matter what, so his fragile ego isn't disturbed. Everyone can be right!

Oh, wait, is this a run-up to next year's favorite thread, "why won't Decker apologize for keeping people for prepping now that it's TEOTWAWKI?" or "BigDog won't scrape the floor and repent because he predicted a depression."

Is TB2K now the psychic hotline?

I'll give my prediction but you have to call 1-900-BIG-DOGS and it will cost you \$1.50 a minute.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), December 09, 1999.

Large-dog:

1-900-BIG-DOGS gives no response. The point you make is well taken, but if any person has chosen not to protect themselves from possible problems because of any statement that Ken has made; then, the fault is not with Ken, but with the person. It is a matter of personal responsibility. We collect all of the facts and make decisions [for ourselves and our families] based on those facts. We guess. If we guess wrong we are personally responsible for the results. This is not a war of religions. It is an analysis of available data. The data is incomplete; therefore we must make judgement calls. It is each person's responsibility; not cpr, bks, chuck, diane, or anyone else. The ball is in their court and they need to play the game!!!

Best wis

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), December 09, 1999.

As posted on another thread December 6, 1999. You must have missed it, Ken.

Ok, we're getting very close now. I've only been to this board for about three months now...It's too bad I found it so late. I don't think I've seen specific Y2K related predictions on this board. If they're out there, they may be old.

Let's take a shot at new < 30 day to go predictions.

Here are mine:

As a result of Y2K:

Somewhere in the world, a nuclear incident will occur that will result in the release of radiation and the loss of life.

Somewhere in the world a chemical plant mishap will occur that will result in the loss of life.

Because of terrorist opportunism, somewhere in the U.S., a terrorist attack will occur, resulting in the loss of life.

A U.S. water system will be contaminated because of a system problem. It may result in serious sickness, depending on how long it takes for the water authority to recognize a problem.

At least one area of the U.S. will be without power for 7 days or more because of non-weather related problems.

There will be U.S. oil shortages by February, resluting in soaring prices and rationing.

Unemployment in the U.S. will surpass 10% during 2000

Somewhere in the U.S., traffic light systems will crash resulting in incredible traffic.

Somewhere in the U.S., rioting and looting will occur on the holiday weekend.

The National Guard will be deployed to keep the peace in at least 5 cities in the first 4 months of 2000.

GDP will experience negative growth in 2000.

At least 5 fortune 500 companies will file for bankruptcy protection by the end of 2000.

Trading will be suspended on the NYSE at least once between now and January 31.

"Flight Rationing" will be imposed by the FAA.

The transportation industry, in general, will experience tremendous economic loss during the first 6 months of 2000. (One of the bankruptcies mentioned above may come from this sector).

A major auto manufacturer will lay-off people because parts shortages will shut down manufaturing lines.

Incorrect and late payroll checks will become common for hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

A major government service (e.g. -medicare, unemployment, welfare, social security, etc.) will experience problems significant enough to cause civil unrest.

During January, international telecommunications will be a shadow of what it is today.

Between now and January 1, limitations on cash withdrawals from banks will become common.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average will drop below 7,000 by March 31, 2000.

Print them off, and let's check them at the end of next year.

Anyone else up for specific Y2K predictions?

-- Duke 1983 (Duke1983@AOL.com), December 06, 1999

I'll add one more: There will be no Y2K related airplane crashes on January 1 or December 31.

-- Duke 1983 (Duke1983@AOL.com), December 09, 1999.

Z -- That was exactly my point. Y2K is not a baseball game. We have all been functioning on the basis of imperfect data plus conviction (e.g. our own). Probably, "someone" will be discernibly right next year, but even if it's "me", it will be blind luck. This is a puerile exercise. Much later, say, 2003, we might be able to learn some lessons looking backward once the facts sift themselves out from the deceptions, but it sure ain't gonna happen by June of 2000.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), December 09, 1999.

Airports in the U.S. will close on December 30, 1999 and not open again for routine flights until after June, 2000.

Oil and gas pipelines in the U.S. will shut down on December 30, 1999 and not start up until June, 2000.

Major chemical plants in the U.S. will shut down on December 30, 1999. They won't restart production until late 2000.

Between December 26 and early January, every food store in the United States will be cleaned out. Empty. Nothing left.

The JIT (Just-In-Time) delivery system will crash, partly due to computer and embedded systems problems and partly due to being stretched beyond capacity.

The President will declare national "holidays" to allow the JIT system to catch-up.

Gas lines will the "norm" for most of 2000.

The oil and gas industry will be experience major problems in early 2000.

Imports into the U.S. will drop to 1/8 (or less) their current level. We'll actually export more than we import by late 2000.

Coffee, tea and sugar prices will rise to the point where most folks can't afford to purchase them.

Bank robberies will increase. Banks will close to the public.

Theft/shoplifting will increase.

All presidential candidates will make dealing with Y2K their primary campaign issue.

Employee pay checks will be written by hand. Fraud will increase.

Near half of all employees will not report to work by Feb. 2000. They will choose to stay home to protect their family and supplies. Manual Operations won't be possible due to lack of personnel.

All public banking transactions will be conducted from automated teller machines. Business transactions will be allowed at predetermined times.

Twenty-four hour security guards/National Guard will be posted at all working ATM machines. ATMs not guarded will be stolen - the whole machine will be taken.

The U.S. power grid will go black in the first days of 2000.

Most power generation facilities will "island" their distribution lines. Most coops in the southern U.S. will not receive electricity. By February, all available electricity will be routed to the northern 1/3 of the U.S. and major cities.

The Telecom Industry will crash in the first days of 2000.

All "nonessential" overseas military personnel will be returned to the U.S. by mid January, 2000.

-- GoldReal (GoldReal@aol.com), December 09, 1999.

Large Dog:

You have got that one right!!

Best wishes,,,,

Z

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), December 09, 1999.

I expect zero to very few outages. Zero wont surprise me at all. I concur about problems caused by people not using their home generators wisely. Add to that they might actually cause some local outages. Possible power outages next summer due to lack of generation and line capacity will be blamed on delayed Y2K effects.

I think any recession will be next year. My guess would be Spring at the earliest. Outside chance of it starting in February. It will be harder to distinguish if Y2K contributed to it then you think. One problem will be blaming non Y2K problems on Y2K and thereby causing a delay in fixing them. Bad managers will use it to excuse their bad management. I would not be surprised if any recession actually started next fall and went on to 2001.

Not much of a New Years Eve this year. Next year (barring a bad recession that we arent out of by then) might be a big one. People will regret putting it off this year and want to party big next year.

I dont think anyone will need their preps for anything. You will need patience calling companies to get mistakes straightened out.

Everything that happens next year will be blamed on Y2K. By summer it will be a tagline.

-- The Engineer (The Engineer@tech.com), December 09, 1999.

I hope you're right, Engineer. But I don't expect it to be so smooth.

-- haha (haha@haha.com), December 09, 1999.

Engineer:

>>I expect zero to very few outages. Zero wont surprise me at all. I concur about problems caused by people not using their home generators wisely. Add to that they might actually cause some local outages.<<

What sort of unwise generator usage do you expect if there are no power outages? If power continues to flow consistantly, how and why would "they" cause local outages?

-- LBO Grise (LBO Grise@aol.com), December 09, 1999.

I predict that Decker will have neither the ability nor inclination to serve cake to the "doomers" on this forum next September, as he mentioned in another thread this past September.

-- jeanne (jeanne@hurry.now), December 09, 1999.

GoldReal:

Excellent predictions. Clear-cut, easily verifiable, no ambiguity about y2k's contribution. Very good.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), December 09, 1999.

jeanne: Do you like to mudwrestle?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 09, 1999.

I'm hurt, flint, no comment to my predictions?

-- Duke1983 (Duke 1983@aol.com), December 09, 1999.

LBO

There have been people posting to this forum who have stated that they intend to disconnect from their local service and run home generators before the roll over (local and GMT time). Some of their worries are dirty power , power surges, etc.

I can see problems with this if the generators are refueled while hot, the exhaust isnt adequately ventilated or if they switch back into their local service without disconnecting the generator first.

-- The Engineer (The Engineer@tech.com), December 10, 1999.