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1998-04-08 17:26:44


Pat Robertson Meets Y2K



Pat Robertson interviewed programmer/author Ed Yourdon on "The 700 Club." It was a long interview. It is posted on the CBN Web site (March 23). This exchange took place.

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ROBERTSON: You know, I read a flyer by a guy named Gary North, which basically said, "I'm getting a home in the northern corner of Arkansas, because there'll be chaos in the cities and the trucks won't run, and the food won't be delivered, and grocery stores will break down, etc." And you had a few of those warnings here in your book -- what do you think? I mean, do you really think we're going to have some serious chaos in this country when this millenium turns over?

YOURDON: Unfortunately, I do. Let me just give you one or two numbers so you can see the magnitude of it. The three most fundamental things that we all depend upon to maintain some semblance of civilized life are utilities -- gas, electric, and so on -- telecommunications -- you know, this discussion we're having could not take place without the phone lines -- and banking. We're dealing with 9,000 electric utility plants in this country, of which zero are ready for the Year 2000 rollover at this point, 11 thousand banks, zero of which are ready at this point. Unfortunately, the track record of the software industry over the last 30 years is such that we can expect that 15 or 20 percent of all computer projects to be behind schedule, not just by a day or two, but by six months to a year. So I think we face the prospect of some degree of chaos -- blackouts, brownouts, possibly some degree of phone outages, possibly some bank failures. The GAO -- the Government Accounting Office -- said that there was a danger of as many as 700 banks failing just because of this Year 2000 problem. So I think there's going to be a period of chaos, if we're lucky, maybe only a couple of days, but I'm more inclined to think it may be more like a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months, before things stabilize, after which, I think we're going to face a very, very severe recession. The economic impact of this is going to be very, very serious.


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