Ed Yardeni has raised his figure from 40% to 60%.
This is from USA TODAY (March 23).
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The stock market indexes continue to set record highs. With double-digit gains so far in just the first quarter, they have already matched or exceeded most optimistic forecasts for the full year. . . .
Edward Yardeni, the Wall Street economist who has emerged since last year as a leading Y2K voice, said last week that he had raised his projected probability of a recession induced by the problem from 40% to 60%.
''I would love to be wrong on this issue,'' Yardeni, of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Inc., said in a report dated last Monday. ''I am not predicting the end of life on planet earth.''
But he added, ''let's recognize that Y2K is an emergency situation that requires immediate attention and enormous resources.'' . . .
''A recession,'' says Yardeni, ''could begin before Jan. 1, 2000, perhaps during the second half of 1999, if the public becomes alarmed and takes precautions. If stock prices fall sharply in 1999, in anticipation of a recession in 2000, the resulting loss of confidence could cause consumers to retrench.''
He also observes, ''if information technology systems do fail, perhaps the resulting disruptions and adverse economic consequences will be minimized by contingency planning and preparations. I hope so.
''Let's be realistic. We collect, store, process, analyze and report so much information with our information technology systems that in most cases there are simply no viable low-tech alternatives. Going back to 'manual' systems means going back in time to when our output and productivity were much lower than today.''