1) The number one myth is that y2k won't effect you. It already is. Every US taxpayer has spent money on just evaluating the problem. For instance, President Clinton just tried to get 3.3 billion in "emergency funds" for y2k... the IRS has wasted over 17 million dollars trying to figure out what to do with their systems, etc.
The Clinton administration's September 30 "target date" (a "goal," not a "deadline," says an administration official) for renovating federal agency computer systems is now past, and many systems are still not renovated. The date was set in November 1997 in an Office of Management and Budget quarterly report. Of the departments of Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, State, and Transportation, and the Agency for International Development -- the agencies placed in "Tier 1" because they were furthest behind last November -- most did not meet the "target date."
And, the USA is not alone:
Yesterday [Friday], the RCMP, the national police force of Canada, announced that all RCMP leaves and vacations have been cancelled for the four months from December, 1999 to something like April, 2000 - so that all Mounties can be available for duty in case of a Y2k-related crisis.
2) Another popular myth -- the problem has to do with an individual's personal computer. This may or may not be true, but it is a fairly irrelevant piece of the puzzle. The two largest problems experts seem to agree on our:
Tanya Styblo Beder told the Senate Y2K committee about some important contingency plans the financial sector is using, and then evaluated the compliance of financial firms in the U.S. versus those in the rest of the world. "Millennium bug swaps" are a new financial instrument that would allow companies to make payments that are due between December 1999 and March 2000 either before or after that period, in one lump sum. Another plan is to complete year-end portfolio trades by December 15, 1999. Banks in the U.S. and Australia are developing these plans as ways to avoid risks associated with doing business during the date rollover period. Beder expressed "fledgling optimism" for U.S. financial firms, in spite of their dependence, ultimately, upon suppliers that are not particularly open or honest about their Y2K work. Beder was not so optimistic about European firms, which are dealing with the conversion to the Euro, or about Asian firms, which are merely trying to stay afloat until 2000. The total spending necessary to deal with Y2K will exceed the amount the U.S. spent (adjusted for inflation) fighting the Vietnam conflict ($500 billion)," Beder said.
3) Third on the myth list is that the problem is isolated to Jan. 1, 2000. As you can see, we've already started paying for it. And, for many reasons, we shall continue to pay for it well past the year 2000... year 2001 problems, litigation, and so on.
IBM (the mfr of one of the FAA's keystone air traffic systems) and the FAA have both acknowledged that the date rollover point problem in one of the FAA's primary air traffic systems is the year 2007 - which is the year in which that system's arbitrarily designated binary dating codes lapses.
Whether you are the business paying the costs directly, or the individual consumer that these costs get passed on to, the Lyon advises that you take y2k into every financial decision.
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