U.S. Shows No Signs of Y2K Hoarding - Clinton Aide ---greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
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U.S. Shows No Signs of Y2K Hoarding - Clinton Aide
05:52 p.m Dec 27, 1999 Eastern - By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans show no signs of hoarding cash or taking other unusual precautions for the possible year 2000 computer glitch, President Clinton's top Y2K adviser said on Monday.
``Even now at this late date we see no evidence at all of any increased anxiety by the public as a result of Y2K,'' trouble-shooter John Koskinen told a briefing at a special $50 million Y2K tracking center set up by the White House.
With the dawn of the new century four days away, he voiced confidence that the computer design flaw known as Y2K would not affect most Americans. But he repeated long-standing advice to prepare as if for a long, midwinter weekend.
``And if -- as will be the case for most Americans -- there's no Y2K inconveniences or glitches, it's not a waste of time or money because they'll be better off for the next blizzard or ice storm,'' Koskinen told a news briefing.
``We see no indication at all that people are increasing in any noticeable way financial transactions or withdrawal of funds,'' he said. ``And we have no indications thus far that anybody is, you know, starting to stock up or load up on gasoline.''
Koskinen outlined plans to hold a series of briefings over the New Year's weekend, beginning at noon EST (1700 GMT) on Friday, six hours after New Zealand leads the Pacific and Asia into the new year.
The tentative plan calls for Koskinen, sometimes accompanied by Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, to conduct briefings at least twice on Friday, three times on Saturday, once on Sunday and twice on Monday.
Koskinen, who has overall responsibility for the White House Y2K-tracking operation, said in the absence of any special problems he personally would brief Vice President Al Gore on Friday and Saturday rather than Clinton.
``If anything important happens, obviously we'll talk with the president as well,'' he said.
Of concern are possible failures or malfunctions of automated systems that, left uncorrected, may confuse the year 2000 with 1900 because of an old practice of using two digits to designate the year.
Koskinen chairs the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion.
To show his confidence that U.S. aviation systems are Y2K ready, he said he would be flying a commercial shuttle between Washington and New York at 7 p.m. EST on Friday, when aviation and other systems based on Greenwich Mean Time roll over to the year 2000 at 0000 GMT.
Asked whether he harbored any qualms about boarding that flight, Koskinen replied: ``I have no hesitation at all -- not the slightest hesitation -- unless we're in the middle of a blizzard.''
``If it's snowing,'' he said, ``I would like to announce here and now, I will probably not try to make that flight.''
-- snooze button (email@example.com), December 28, 1999
Senator Bennett is hoarding. The chairman of the Senate Y2K committee stated the following:
"...look at your own situation and make your own choice. I'm going to try to have a little more than two weeks."
-- mabel (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 28, 1999.
Well, now that the gov't has gone on record as saying there are no hoarders, I guess they're short a scapegoat, if things go badly(G).
-- Bokonon (bok0non@my-Deja.com), December 28, 1999.
1) I'm sure that no one on this furm is "hoarding," but there are a lot who are (and have been) prudently preparing early...
2) By stating that there is no hoarding, the government may be trying to discourage people from going out and buying stuff at the last minute...
-- Mad Monk (email@example.com), December 28, 1999.
Went to do some last minute shopping this morning with the Mrs. We got a pretty good laugh at the local liquor store. The whiskey we drink was on sale and I worked out an even better price on case lot, so I bought 2 cases. On the way out the manager thanked us twice for giving him a big sale first thing in the morning. Another thing we saw was big pallets of bottled water, which isnt a big seller in the little town we live near. So much for hoarding in Alaska.
-- Capt Dennis (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 28, 1999.