How Bad Will Y2K Be?–Part One

November 30, 1998

One of the questions I'm most asked these days is, How bad do you think Y2K will be? Over the next two days, I thought I would give you my answer.

For the last few months I have had the privilege of moderating a number of debates and forums on the Y2K problem. And though I wouldn't call myself an expert, I have been able to meet and interview experts from various sides of this issue.

Originally there seemed to be a lot of people on the extremes of this issue: either believing that Y2K wasn't a problem or else believing it represented "the end of the world as we know it." Now I am finding that more and more people reside in the middle position simply because both extreme positions are becoming less tenable.

I think it is becoming harder and harder to say that Y2K will merely be "a small bump in the road." Nearly everyone I interview (whether survivalists or people who believe Y2K is a minor problem) will admit that the government is way behind in fixing the problem. Some agencies are in good shape, but many are very far behind. This will certainly mean some disruption in governmental services.

Nearly everyone I interview will also admit that though many companies are ready for the millennium, many more are far behind or haven't even started. This will certainly mean that some companies will go bankrupt either due to their irresponsibility or due to their suppliers' irresponsibility.

And nearly everyone I interview also believes that Americans might panic and pull money out of their bank, creating a possible liquidity lockup. A disruption of government services, bankruptcies, a bank run: doesn't exactly sound like a bump in the road, does it? But it isn't the end of the world either. I'll talk about that in the next commentary.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International