Bankers have to be optimistic on this issue; the alternative is a bank run. But ask yourself: Why do they never tell us why Japan is on track, and Latin America, and Europe? Or isn't the banking system international?
When you read optimistic statements, remember: 80% of the code is outside the United States.
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"Just to convert the applications could take a year or more," he says. "From the standpoint of correcting the problem, it takes time, but it can take less than converting. Banks and outside year 2000 vendors have also automated the solution process, using programs that search out date fields, but much of the work still requires tedious line-by-line reprogramming. Fred looms again. "A lot of tools can look for date fields named `YY,'" says Alden, "but how do you pick up one named `Fred?'" That, say Scott and NationsBank's Large, is why banks are devoting at least a year and typically half of their year 2000 budgets to testing solutions. Will banks beat the calendar with solutions that work? The industry consensus, particularly for large ones, is yes, but bankers would be more comfortable if they could stop the clock.
"It is still going to be a race to the finish line," says Harris.