On This Day Pre-Y2K

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January 3, 1999 Permalink

Whats a reasonable scale to base an estimate of 1-10 for the impact of Y2K on? I have seen several reports of people predicting 7’s or 8’s and others who predict 10’s.

I had seen the Easterbrook scale and was amazed that some predicted nuclear devastation. Now I have found the WDC scale which is much more optomistic and unrealistic, with a 10 only being a collapse of the government and famine.

I think the Easterbrook scale is much more accurate since the 10 on the WDC scale is much too likely and the possibilities of being worse than that are not covered.

What do you all think is a better scale for the Y2K impact, and what is your number on each?


The Eastabrook scale http://www.elmbronze.demon.co.uk/year2000/

0: No problem. Nothing will happen. (LaLa Land).

1: Minor problems, 3-5% of businesses perish. Minor recession. Government slows perceptibly.

2: Some problems, 5-8% of businesses gone, government creaks. Good-sized recession.

3: Significant problems, ca. 10% of businesses perish, government shudders. Large recession.

4: Heavy problems, ca. 15% of businesses down. Government partially ineffective. Large recession plus - think of 1982 + 1979 + 1974.

5: Severe problems, 15-20% of businesses down. Depression, 20% unemployed. Some parts of global economy very shaky.

6: Partial collapse of global economy. Big depression. National gov ineffective, local ones shaky but functioning.

7: Total collapse of global economy, major loss of infrastructure.

8: Reorganization at regional level, some pre-industrial reversion.

9: Limited civil and international warfare, widespread loss of life.

10: Opportunistic military conquest leading to nuclear winter.

WDCY2K Washington DC Y2K Users Group Scale http://wdcy2k.org/survey/

0: No real impact

1: Local impact for some enterprises

2: Significant impact for many enterprises

3: Significant market adjustment (20%+ drop); some bankruptcies

4: Economic slowdown; rise in unemployment; isolated social incidents

5: Mild recession; isolated supply/infrastructure problems; runs on banks

6: Strong recession; local social disruptions; many bankruptcies

7: Political crises; regional supply/infrastructure problems and social disruptions

8: Depression; infrastructure crippled; markets collapse; local martial law

9: Supply/infrastructure collapse; widespread social disruptions and martial law

10: Collapse of U.S. government; possible famine

—Brad Waddell, Time Bomb 2000 Forum (LUSENET), 01/03/99

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