The chief economist of Europe's largest bank predicted this week a 70 per cent probability of the millennium bug causing a global recession as bad as, or worse than, the 1973 oil crisis.
Dr Ed Yardeni, of Deutsche Bank, said he had expected world leaders to put the millennium problem high on the agenda at the G8 summit in Birmingham in May, but called their response "pathetic".
It was only in March that Yardeni increased his predictions of the probability of global recession in the year 2000 from 40 per cent to 60 per cent.
Yardeni went further and suggested that the world could be brought to the brink of nuclear war by failures in IT defence systems.
He quoted evidence given by the US deputy defence secretary, William Cohen, to the US Senate Armed Forces Committee last month. In his evidence, Cohen said the US is prepared to pool information with the Russians and Chinese to help avoid a scenario in which the controllers of nuclear weapons are staring at blank screens on 1 January 2000, unable to assess any threat that might come from aggressive action.
Colin Barker is associate editor of Computing.
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