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1998-01-17 21:12:39


Bank Holiday: One Day Only (We Promise!)



Banking regulators in the U.S. are now discussiong the possibility of a Dec. 31, 1999 bank holiday.

Just one day to test the fix. That's all they'll need. Honest!

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NEW YORK, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Banking officials grappling with the Year 2000 computer glitch are considering declaring a holiday on Dec. 31, 1999, to pave a smoother road into the new millennium. . . .

The proposal ``may offer meaningful benefits,'' said William McDonough, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Speaking at the SIA Year 2000 conference in New York, he added, ``we have to do it either soon or not at all,'' to minimize costs. . . .

George Colony, president of Forrester Research Inc., stood behind the idea of a one-day holiday, although he also said that two or three consecutive holidays would only serve to ``lengthen out the pain.'' Forrester conducts studies into the potential impact of the Year 2000 bug and recently said financial systems would be among those most affected by the Year 2000 problem.

After interviewing 51 information technology executives, Forrester also reported that 52 percent of respondents have run into date-related problems already, including an insurance company that cited incorrect calculations for payment schedules involving long-term coverage plans. . . .

``If the decision is not made by March of this year, we may as well not make it,'' said Richard Lindsey, director of Market Regulations at the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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