NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Group Backs Down On 2000 Readiness Ratings

January 27, 1999

In an ominous development, a prestigious group of international banks, securities firms and insurers is considering scratching plans to publicize its evaluations of how ready 30 nations are to avoid Year 2000 computer disruptions. The group says the findings might cause a flight of capital and destabilize some large developing countries.

  • Global 2000 Coordinating Group -- consisting of more than 230 institutions in 46 countries -- announced its rating plan at a United Nations conference in New York last month, promising to publish its findings early in February.
  • The group seems concerned that its access to central banks, national telephone and power companies and other major institutions in the countries rated might give the ratings extraordinary credibility.
  • Year 2000 consultants had called the planned publicity a valuable alert and had praised the group as setting an example of cooperative information-sharing.
  • Bankers familiar with the debate inside the group say that federal regulators and some major banks had raised concerns about capital flight -- especially from Latin America.

In general, Global 2000 does not intend to predict how far countries will get in their repair programs. But it has bluntly warned on its website that Russia will not solve its Year 2000 problems in time.

A final decision concerning release of the data has apparently not yet been made, and members of the group are scheduled to attend a private meeting in London today.

Source: Barnaby J. Feder, "Group Rethinks Ratings on Year 2000 Readiness," New York Times, January 27, 1999.


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