Federal Reserve to Operate Command Post for Y2K

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (NYT) -- Although the Federal Reserve Board isn't expecting any widespread Y2K problems, the Fed will operate a special around-the-clock command post that will monitor banks and financial markets for computer glitches beginning Dec. 31.

Federal Reserve Board Governors Roger W. Ferguson and Edward W. Kelley will work over the New Year's weekend, helping 100 staffers at the command center keep track of each time zone's rollover into the new year.

"We aren't expecting major problems," said Federal Reserve spokeswoman Rose Pianalto. The financial markets and the banking industry -- particularly in the United States and major industrialized countries -- started addressing the Y2K problem early. As a result, American bankers predict their computers will work without a hitch on Jan. 1 and beyond.

The Y2K computer problem is the result of old programming that expressed years with two digits, meaning that uncorrected computers could interpret "00" as "1900" and crash, or garble data, potentially disrupting everything from air travel to telecommunications. …