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1997-05-17 00:00:00


Regulators Are Quietly Beginning to Panic



The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) is the central agency in charge on imposing the y2k fix. Banks, credit unions, savings & loans all answer to the FFIEC. The FFIEC is beginning to panic.

Notice the language in its May 5, 1997 press release:

"Federal financial regulators are concerned that systemic disruptions and potential failures could result if computers used by financial institutions cannot properly read date-sensitive information when the calendar changes to 2000."

The words "systemic disruptions" are not usually found in government press releases relating to government-supervised organizations.

The press release invokes the universally honored (and impossible to achieve)deadline: December 31, 1998. This leaves a year for full testing and additional repairs. It ignores the obvious: How can every institution that depends on a mainframe computer run the tests? Testing requires a second computer or simultaneous use of the original computer. There is no such excess mainframe capacity available. The computers are too expensive to run on any basis other than 90% capacity, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Conclusion: the tests cannot be performed even if the banks make the deadline. But nobody with any authority talks about this.


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