Panic In The Year Zero Zero

Can the financial world reprogram its computers in time?

It's 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31, 1999. As midnight approaches, computers at some of the world's financial institutions shut down. With their lifeblood cut off, these banks, brokerages, and insurance companies are forced to close their doors. Other financial firms whose computers are still functional try to keep going. But because financial institutions are so closely linked, even healthy ones begin to falter. By Monday morning, billions of dollars of transactions have been disrupted or aborted. A domino effect goes into play, and in the ensuing confusion the entire financial world teeters into chaos.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.