BAT Industries, a large British conglomerate, takes the y2k problem very seriously, especially the problem of noncompliant chips. The FINANCIAL TIMES (May 21, 1997) reported on an interview with the head of information technology for BAT.
"BAT's list of potential disasters is long. Factories might shut down if embedded chips deep within machines on the cigarette productions lines fail to recognize what day of the week it is. New parts might be made obsolete and goods just arrived designated for disposal.
"Staff could become stuck in lifts [elevators] and the electricity might shut off. Transactions could go missing from accounting records, leaving the company unable to bill customers. Links with suppliers, distributors and banks could be affected, too."
The company warns that it might be "unable to bill customers." An entire debt-based civilization now rests on those words.
(You must register to get onto the FINANCIAL TIMES site. For this reason, I have not included the link. Their site's address is www.ft.com )