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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Despite Lack of Glitches, Nagging Concerns Remain Over Y2K

Aired January 3, 2000 - 8:12 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: The world avoided any major Y2K problems over the weekend, but another major test does come today when millions of people return to work.

Kathleen Koch joins us now live from the National Y2K Readiness Center in Washington, she's got the latest for us -- Kathleen.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leon, the nagging question here today remains: Was it all necessary, the $200 billion that the world spent to eradicate the Y2K bug, or was it more hype than reality?

Now, experts say the bug was real, and could still bite today, that's because 90 percent of the city's -- or the nation's business computers were powered down over the weekend, and could still have Y2K glitches.

There is no concern about the financial sector, it's believed it is very ready, but the president's Y2K advisers says there are still some nagging concerns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KOSKINEN, PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON Y2K READINESS: We're continuing to monitor how things go around the globe, there's been an increase in the amount of minor glitches that are being reported, nothing thus far that looks very surprising or unexpected. I think the challenge today will not be the banking and financial industry, I think it will be the small retailers and commercial establishments, to see how they function. There have already been some somewhat humorous reports of glitches, which were humorous because they're isolated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOCH: Glitches like the customer in Colony, New York, who returned a movie to a video rental store, only to find that he was being charged $91,000 in late fees, that's because the computer said that he was returning it 100 years late.

Well, there are some silver linings in all this Y2K furor, city, state, and the federal government say that all the training and the stocking up now means that they will be better prepared to face any future emergencies. And companies are said to have now slimmed down and updated their computer systems, so they will operate more quickly and efficiently, saving everyone time and money.

Back to you, Leon.

HARRIS: Well, Kathleen, is this it, is this finally the last day we can talk about Y2K as a possible problem?

KOCH: I wish I could say yes, Leon, but they're very concerned about February 29 this is a leap year, and that's something, apparently, some analysts putting in these Y2K fixes were not aware of. So we could have more potential problem on that date.

HARRIS: All right, Kathleen Koch, reporting live from Washington.

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