Saturday, December 15, 2018

Banks Cash-on-Hand Spiked in Anticipation of Y2K Problems

This is interesting. Here's the amount of cash US banks keep/kept in their vaults, total nationwide, available for withdrawal. Note the amount spiked just prior to 1/1/2000, as people deposited extra cash in case there were Y2K problems:


Note: Y2K was an issue. There were few problems not because it was hyped or overestimated, but because business spent about $100 billion to fix potential software problems beforehand. It's really a great success story, but some people insist on saying it was all a hoax or unnecessary alarmism. Instead it was healthy alarmism, with a potential disaster avoided by a lot of hard work.

Added: I don't know why there was a jump step circa 1980. It doesn't necessarily represent anything social; it might have been some change in the amount of cash banks were required to keep on hand. Anyone know?

16 comments:

Layzej said...

I'm guessing the DIDMCA had something to do with the 1980 spike? - Effective November 13, 1980.

I worked on the Y2K issue. The fact that we were aware of the hard deadline over a decade in advance made it easier to solve.

Global warming doesn't benefit from a hard deadline. The rise in cost is incremental - (and may have initially been negative). Natural variability overwhelms the signal over the shorter timescales.

I think Greta Thunberg has it right though. Our kids will pay the price.

We can borrow from our children to benefit ourselves today. In that case we should run up the deficit and continue to burn fossil fuels.

I'd rather invest today so my children have it a little easier. Balooning individual, state, and federal debt indicates that this is not a universally shared value. In general folks are happy to spend now and let their kids pick up the tab.

David in Cal said...

Greta Thunberg may turn out to be right, but I would guess that global warming will be a benefit for her children. The chart of Troposphere temperatures shows warming at a rate of 1.5 deg/century. Assuming that rate continues, there will be a long period time during which global warming is a net benefit to cold countries like Sweden, Norway, Canada, Russia, etc.

Cheers

David Appell said...

David, there is absolutely no justification for "assuming that rate continues," because of feedbacks.

David Appell said...

I wrote one of the first articles on Y2K, "The Year 2000: Software Hits the Wall," Internet World, January 1997. (The magazine went out-of-business some years later.) I was studying creative writing at the time at Arizona State University, and started freelancing to make money. (Soon I was doing more freelancing than creative writing, and dropped out after 3 semesters to hike the Appalachian Trail with my girlfriend.) I only got paid $500 for 2500 words, which was a piddling rate even then, but I was starting out and didn't know any better. I talked to an Y2K IT team at ASU, and I also found that an expert warning about Y2K, Peter De Jager, was on a tour of sorts and his Web page said he'd be in Phoenix on a certain day, so I went out to his lecture at, I think, a country club in Scottsdale and then we sat and talked for a long time. He was tickled pink that I had looked at his Web page to track him down -- this was 1995, fairly nascent days for the Web back then. (The article took over a year til the magazine decided to run it.)

Layzej said...

DiC: The chart of Troposphere temperatures shows warming at a rate of 1.5 deg/century

Sweden is warming at twice the global rate. They will have to adapt to much greater change. It's the change that is costly, not the absolute temperature.

David in Cal said...

Layzej -- More precisely, Sweden has been warming at twice the global rate. We do not know why the far north has been warming so fast, so we do not know whether that higher rate of warming will continue.

Yes, the change in temperature will require costly adaptation. But, the absolute temperature also matters. Higher average temperatures will open up a lot more land for Swedish agriculture and bring about a longer growing season.

David Appell said...

David, Come on.

Arctic amplification is a result of the ice-albedo feedback.

"Atmospheric data shows clear evidence of Arctic warming linked to declining ice extent (Figure 1). To see if the loss of Arctic sea ice had really begun to speed up the effects of climate warming, the team looked at output extending through 2007 from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, a retrospective form of numerical weather prediction. They also examined the satellite-derived sea ice record, and compared results with simulated surface air temperature variability based on the Community Climate System Model Version 3. The results consistently pointed at Arctic amplification starting in the last decade. Their analysis also indicates that as the sea ice cover continues to shrink, Arctic amplification will grow."

Source: https://nsidc.org/about/monthlyhighlights/2009/09/arctic-amplification

David Appell said...

David in Cal said...
Higher average temperatures will open up a lot more land for Swedish agriculture and bring about a longer growing season.

Will it? Is Sweden's soil as appropriate as France's and Germany's and Italy's? Will the decreased amount of sunlight in Sweden matter? Who pays for agriculture to move from the south to the north? How does the amount of Swedish potential agricultural land compare to existing agricultural land further south?

You're making glib statements that are by no means obvious, and trivially paving over the the realities of such transitions.

David Appell said...

General Mills CEO Ken Powell told the Associated Press:

"We think that human-caused greenhouse gas causes climate change and climate volatility, and that’s going to stress the agricultural supply chain, which is very important to us."

8/30/15
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-general-mills-greenhouse-gas-cuts-20150830-story.html

Layzej said...

DiC: We do not know why the far north has been warming so fast

You may have some catching up to do. Here's Svante Arrhenius from 1896:
https://www.sealevel.info/Arrhenius_polar_amplification.html

Thomas Palm said...

Sweden is also a country dependent on trade. If the rest of the world is hurt, Sweden will feel it. Come to think of it, Sweden is also a big weapons exporter, so maybe it will profit from global instability, at least for a while.

David in Cal said...

Thanks for the interesting link Layzej. Maybe Arrhenius is right. But, he predicted faster warming as you got farther from the equator in both directions. His prediction is working for the North, but not working for the South.

cheers

David Appell said...

I don't think Arrhenius said anything about the polar regions. If you look at his paper's Table VII, "Variation of Temperature caused by a given Variation of Carbonic Acid"

http://web.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/arrhenius.html

his predictions stopped at 70 N latitude and 60 S latitude. There isn't much polar amplification in his numbers, certainly nothing like the factor of about 2 seen today (so far) in Arctic amplification.

David Appell said...

I didn't know Sweden was a big weapons exporter. Thanks Thomas.

Layzej said...

his predictions stopped at 70 N latitude and 60 S latitude. There isn't much polar amplification in his numbers, certainly nothing like the factor of about 2 seen today (so far) in Arctic amplification.

Fair enough. That 1890s paper isn't the final word on polar amplification. CMIP5 seems to capture this with much greater fidelity, and projects greater amplification in the Arctic than Antarctic.

David Appell said...

Layzej: Yes, for sure. Arrhenius 1896 wasn't the last word on anything. First papers rarely do, regardless of what they're about.

It (importantly) pointed a way. That's often the crucial importance of groundbreaking papers -- whether Arrhenius, Hansen, or Mann et al's hockey stick. Or any scientific paper.