U.S. expert nixes Y2K recession

The head of the United States’ Y2K program has downplayed the possibilities of a Y2K-induced global recession. Addressing a global Y2K conference last week, John Koskinen, chairman of the U.S. President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said that the consensus of economists is that overall impact on the gross domestic product of the U.S. will only be two-tenths or three-tenths of a percent.

“They saw no risk of a local or worldwide recession or depression resulting from this,” Mr. Koskinen. He did concede that some predictions of a recession caused by the millennium bug could be based on the expectation of supply shortages. He also stressed the importance of continued international cooperation as Y2K day approaches.

He noted that although the U.S. government is now “79 percent” prepared for the year 2000, it has prepared contingency plans which include printing an additional $50 billion in cash and allocated two to three months’ worth of petroleum reserves. He also pointed out that weapons systems in the U.S., Russia and the former Soviet republics simply do not work without human intervention, and still require a “finger on the button.”