Y2K SELECT QUOTATIONS

This page was created to quickly give readers a sense of how serious the year 2000 computer problem is, and is intended to stimulate their desire to find out more about the problem and the potential impact it will have on their lives. The page contains a collection of quick-to-read statements made in recent months by high-ranking government and business officials in the United States regarding the severity of the Y2K problem. Links are provided to the quoted material (Source).

For example:

"We need to prioritize and recognize this as a major emergency."

          CONGRESSMAN STEPHEN HORN (R-CA), June 2, 1998, Source

As a business must prepare for Y2K, so must an individual; and like a business, acknowledging that the problem exists is only the first 1% of preparing for it. The next 6% is figuring out how the problems that Y2K generates will affect the individual's life. And the remaining 93% is taking action to ensure that those effects are eliminated or minimized. Remember: awareness breeds action; uneducated optimism breeds complacency. It is hoped that this page motivates whoever reads it to take action.

While reading, please ask yourself at least two questions: Are these people going to prepare their families? Aren't some of these people already prepared for hard times by virtue of their jobs?

(click on a name or scroll the page)

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"The American people expect reliable service from their Government and deserve the confidence that critical government functions dependent on electronic systems will be performed accurately and in a timely manner. Because of a design feature in many electronic systems, a large number of activities in the public and private sectors could be at risk beginning in the year 2000... Minimizing the Y2K problem will require a major technological and managerial effort, and it is critical that the United States Government do its part in addressing this challenge."

          PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON, Executive Order, February 4, 1998, Source

 

"The bottom line is we have to inoculate the public against the perception that all systems will work. They won't. We just hope the right ones will."

          JOHN KOSKINEN, Chairman, President Clinton's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, May 18, 1998, Source

 

"It is entirely possible that every organization in America could get its own computers fixed ... and still have major problems. When people say to me, is the world going to come to an end, I say I don't know. I don't know whether this will be a bump in the road ... or whether this will in fact trigger a major worldwide recession with absolutely devastating economic consequences in some parts of the world." . . .

          SENATOR ROBERT BENNETT, (R-UT), Chairman, Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, June 1998, Source

 

"It is dawning on the United States Senate and other branches of our government just how large a problem this could be."

          SENATOR GORDON SMITH, (R-OR), July 1, 1998, Source

 

"When you consider how important our electric utilities are to everything we do in life, then you'll recognize that if we do not have our compliance for the Y2K and as things fall apart, it's going to be devastating in our entire society."

          CONGRESSWOMAN CONNIE MORELLA, (R-MD), June 1998, Source

 

"The Year 2000 (Y2K) computer crisis is now upon us and the federal government is even more woefully unprepared than the rest of society. The implications are ominous. Medicare, the IRS, the Federal Aviation Administration and other basic agencies are operating on utterly out-of-date technology. It doesn't take much imagination to see how dreadfully wrong things could go." . . .

          STEVE FORBES, May 15, 1998, Source

 

"The risk of the journey (to 2000) is unknown. We face economic instability, factories shutting down...foreign banks are at risk. Civil stability, which we don't normally think about here, is at risk..."

          JOYCE AMENTA, DIT, United Nations, June 30, 1998, Source

 

"I believe that corporations are not disclosing enough information about Y2K. Nearly all the statements on the subject are only two or three short paragraphs, at most. The basic message is an optimistic one: 'We expect to have the problem fixed, but our operations could be disrupted if we don't, or if our vendors fail to fix their Y2K problem.'"

          ED YARDENI, Chief Economist, Deutsche Bank Securities, June 10, 1998, Source

 

"We're concerned about the potential disruption of power grids, telecommunications and banking services...especially in countries already torn by political tensions."

          SHERRY BURNS, Central Intelligence Agency, May 5, 1998, Source

 

"...despite the rising din of warnings, surveys indicate that too few managers in business and government recognize how little time is left to complete the task."

          U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, June 8, 1998, Source

 

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"...the largest public companies in the US have made remarkably little progress on Year 2000. This conclusion applies across all industries represented in the top 250."

          STEVEN HOCK, President, Triaxsys Research, June 10, 1998, Source

 

"In my own view, it is a particularly large global disaster in the making...I am convinced the problem is vastly underappreciated."

          JERRY JASINOWSKY, President, National Association of Manufacturers, June 30, 1998, Source

 

"Electric power is the critical utility. After more than about three days (of failure) everything just folds up. Trains, heat, refrigeration, water supplies all go. We'd be straight back to 18th and 19th century, and it would take 20 years to regain the lost economic capability."

          ROSS ANDERSON, Cambridge University, June 1998, Source

 

"Our entire way of life, in essence, is at risk... We don't know the [Year 2000] status of the federal government with any real precision."

         RONA B. STILLMAN, Chief Scientist, General Accounting Office, June 1998, Source

 

"Year 2000 poses the threat that common mode failures...or the coincident loss of multiple facilities could result in stressing the electric system to the point of a cascading outage over a large area..."

          MICHEHL GENT, President, North American Electric Reliability Council , June 12, 1998, Source

 

"...evidence suggests that some companies still are not disclosing information concerning Year 2000 problems, while others are disclosing only very limited information, or are providing only boilerplate statements that carry little content. This sort of nondisclosure of material information can ultimately have a very detrimental effect on investor confidence in the stock market in general, and on stock prices in particular."

          LYNN A. STOUT, Professor of Law, Georgetown University, June 10, 1998, Source

 

"What we do know is that every company, every government agency, and every organization that has looked into the (Y2K) problem has found that it is more complicated, more serious, and more costly than originally estimated."

          WILLIAM E. KENNARD, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, June 1998,  Source

 

"Think about half of the assets of the US middle class being moved around, and half of that taken out of the system completely over a period of six months...It would be a disaster. I certainly hope the bankers are thinking about it, because the ice here is not very thick."

          GARY J. BEACH, Publisher, CIO Magazine, June 1998, Source

 

"What nobody, not even Koskinen, knows is how bad the crash will be. So why doesn't he press the panic button during speeches and interviews? 'Would we do better if I stood up tomorrow and said this is a national crisis?' he asks in reply. Probably not. But it might get the bureaucrats' attention."

          TIME MAGAZINE, (TIME.com), June 15, 1998, Source

 

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