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1998-05-19 08:56:55


G-8 Summit Calls for a Y2K Conference



The G-8 summit issued a communique calling for a y2k conference. Whoopdie-do.

Robin Guenier, Britain's orginal y2k watchman, cried out in despair. It's not enough.

Andy Kyte of the Gartner Group warned of the public's loss of faith in electronic money. This is a subtle way of saying "bank runs." He's got the picture.

This is a Reuters report (May 18). It won't be around for long.

* * * * * * *

LONDON (Reuters) - Group of Eight plans to swat the millennium computer bug were derided by experts today as inadequate.

The plan reveals a lack of understanding of the depth of the crisis, they said.

``It may sound like a cliche but too little, too late is so true in this issue. It is getting desperately late,'' said Robin

Guenier, executive director of Taskforce 2000, a privately funded organization which publicizes millennium bug problems. . . .

The G8 summit's final communique agreed to take unspecified urgent action and share information.

Just over $16 million was committed to the World Bank Trust Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to help international institutions combat the bug.

A conference of experts would be held in Moscow on an unspecified date. . . .

All the G8 leaders could generate were warm words but no effective action, experts said.

``This really is the last chance to get on with it. This whole thing is much bigger and much nearer and much more dangerous than our political leaders seem to understand,'' Guenier said.

``Exhortation, and agreements to share information, call another meeting of so-called experts -- where is the wake-up call we've been waiting for?''

Andy Kyte, research director at U.S. high technology consultancy Gartner Group, was particularly concerned at the likely damage to banking systems from computer failure and the ensuing blow to confidence.

``Public confidence in electronic money is likely to be shaken and the question for politicians is what they should do now to avoid loss of confidence in financial services markets,'' he said.


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