South of Jewfish Creek
Friend & Subscriber,
last day of April and I'm sitting here staring at a ball cap.
pretty ordinary ball cap. Millions of people wear one like
this every day. Except, what's different about this one is, it
has a little rectangle of plastic attached to the front of it.
This rectangle is 1-1/2 inches high and 2-1/2 inches wide.
Inside the plastic rectangle is a gray window. Inside the
window are black numbers. The number on the far right of the
display changes every second. It's kind of like wearing a ball
cap with a little plastic clock on the front of it. Except,
this clock runs backwards. What it does is count down how many
days, hours, minutes and seconds are left until this year is
a COUNTDOWN 2000 ball cap. When the numbers reflect zero days
left, zero hours left, zero minutes left and zero seconds
left, this year will be over and the year 2000 will begin.
is an interesting gimmick but, it irritates me. It keeps me
conscious of time slipping by. I bought it as a gift for my
Uncle Jack (he likes it) and I'll be happy to give it back to
him and get it out of my sight.
Recently, someone took a survey to find out what words or
phrases Americans were most fed up with hearing. I would have
guessed the top of the list would be "Monica Lewinsky." But, I
would have guessed wrong. According to the survey, the #1
thing Americans don't want to hear anything more about is...
folks, that's just too bad because... before you know it...
Y2K is going to be a very serious concern to all
Americans. You see, after nearly a year of systematic
investigation, a special Senate committee has finished a very
sobering study of the Y2K problem that concludes... some
incalculable level of economic disruption is
warns the investigating Senate panel,
"this problem will
affect us all individually and collectively in very profound
ways. It will indeed impact individual businesses and the
global economy. In some cases, lives could even be
believe a lot of government studies but, I do believe
this one. The authors of the report have taken great care to
avoid both undue alarm and unfounded optimism. Here are some
of their findings:
Will Not Fall
this nation's 670 domestic airports started working on Y2K
compliance way too late and, what we are going to experience
is a lot of... "flight rationing." And, as bad as it's
going to get here, aviation problems are going to be much
worse in other countries.
Still Going To Be
Make Telephone Calls!
It looks like 95% of U.S. telephone systems will be ready.
However, the same cannot be said for data networks, cellular
or satellite communication systems.
Still Going To Be
Get Our Hands
Or, at least, so they say. Banks are mostly Y2K compliant. You
shouldn't have any problems withdrawing your money or getting
cash from an automated teller. Plus, the Federal Reserve
intends to expand available currency by about 1/3 to
approximately 200 billion dollars to cover people who want to
withdraw their money.
Sounds good. But, I wouldn't take it as gospel.
Care In America
all American doctors have done nothing to prepare their
offices for Y2K problems! 64% of hospitals have no plans
whatsoever to test their Y2K fixes before the crunch date.
Federal payment systems for Medicare and other health
insurance programs are way behind schedule as far as preparing
for Y2K problems. A quote from the report:
"The health care
industry is one of the worst prepared for Y2K and carries a
significant potential for harm."
I see some nightmare scenarios on the horizon in this area.
Us Are Gonna
Live In The Dark!
the first of this year, only about 50% of electric utilities
were ready for Y2K. The greatest problems will emanate from
approximately 1,000 small, rural electric utilities. Local and
regional "blackouts" are going to be commonplace but, a
prolonged, national blackout is not.
From Government Agencies Is
Suck Even More
Federal agencies are prepared. Some are not. Strangely enough,
among the least prepared is the Defense Department. (I don't
know about you but, I'm not sure that's such a bad thing.)
and local governments vary widely as far as they are prepared
is concerned. What is rather scary is the Senate panel said,
"The greatest concern is the ability of local communities
to provide 911 emergency services."
Take A Nosedive!
According to the report, heavily regulated fields such as
banking, insurance and finance are further ahead but health
care, oil, education, agriculture, farming, food processing
and the construction industry are lagging behind.
failure of a critical system is likely to cost up to 3-1/2
million to repair!
would you guess AT&T has already spent to solve its Y2K
problems? Would you believe... 900 million dollars?!
let ol' Guru Gary tell you the main thing that's gonna happen.
The Senate report touched on it but, I'd like to give you an
idea of just how awful what I see as the "main problem" is
going to be.
nutshell, it is other countries.
think we're not ready for Y2K? Hell, we're more prepared than
a pack of boy scouts compared to other countries. Take Brazil
as an example. It has already experienced economic chaos
because of the devaluation of the "Real" this year.
But, as losing football teams often say, "Just wait till
next year!" You see, Brazil has hardly even begun to
become Y2K compliant.
I'll tell you what. Brazil is Maytag's third largest market.
How many washers and dryers do you think Maytag is going to
sell to Brazilians when the new year makes the majority of
Brazilian businesses come to a standstill? And, except for the
U.S., Xerox sells more of its products to Brazil than anywhere
declining sales of Xerox and Maytag... and... all the
thousands of other U.S. companies with major markets in
foreign countries is going to affect our economy? Our stock
market? You bet it will... and... it's not going to be
problem, also known as "The Millennium Bug" is not going to be
just another "bump in the road." No, it's going to be...
Devastating Events This
Has Ever Encountered!
hype? Nope. That's a direct quote from the Senate
report. And get this: The government almost always presents
the most positive picture possible on any situation.
So, just imagine how bad this situation is really going to be!
the Y2K problem is not complicated. To save space, the
pioneers of computer programming used only two digits to
indicate what year the computer was dealing with. For example,
1999 is programmed only as 99. It just assumed the first two
digits are 19. Therefore, in the year 2000, all computers that
aren't fixed are going to think it's 1900.
not a trivial matter. It is going to create world-wide chaos.
bring it home. What does all this mean to you? What should you
do to be prepared? Is there any way you can profit from this
to that in a minute. But first, I want to tell you some
personal stuff... and then... I'm going to relate this
personal stuff to the Y2K problem.
I have a
small jet boat. Not a jet ski... a jet boat. It's only
14 feet and 4 inches long. I bought it for practically
nothing. A rich guy from Ireland bought it for his son two or
three years ago and then got pissed off at his son and never
gave it to him. Instead, he put it in storage. When I got it,
it looked brand, spanking new.
engine on a boat operates a lot like a jet engine on a plane.
The jet on the plane sucks air into the front of the engine
and pushes it out the back... thus thrusting the plane
forward. A jet engine on a boat works the same way, except it
sucks in and pushes out water.
how if some sparrows or other birds get sucked into a jet
engine on a plane, it screws everything up? Well, the same is
true of a jet boat. If the jet sucks up seaweed, the engine
loses power until you remove the weeds. In the case of my
little boat, the way you do that is jump overboard, swim under
the boat and pull the weeds out of the intake grate. Then, you
clamber back aboard the boat and off you go.
picture this: It's a beautiful Saturday in the Florida Keys.
The sun is out and there's not a cloud in the sky. The waters
are calm. I'm out by myself in my jet boat. A few times I have
to go overboard and clean out the weeds but, I don't think
anything about it. I go to a little island named Money Key on
the south side of the Seven Mile Bridge. I tie up my boat and
explore the island. I walk clear around it looking at little
fish, stone crabs and stuff.
been out for hours and decide I'd better go home. I untie the
boat, start the engine and start mobilating back to the
marina. I'm going like a bat out of hell. Maybe 55 mph which
is really fast on the water. I'm running between the
old Seven Mile Bridge and the new one. The boat starts to lose
power. Shit. I've got weeds again. There's a very
strong current in this area between the bridges... so... I
head north away from the bridges and limp forward until I
think I'm far enough away to jump overboard and remove the
weeds. I tie a line around my waist, go overboard and under
the boat to remove the weeds.
when I come up, I discover the current is so strong, the boat
has been pulled all the way back to the bridges. Whatever. No
problem. Except, when I turn the key, the engine won't turn
over. I figure it's a dead battery. I later learn it wasn't.
What happened was, a rope got sucked up into the jet intake
and froze the engine. By the way, do you know the difference
between a rope and a line? It's simple: A rope becomes a line
when it is attached to a boat. Untie it from the boat and take
it home with you and it's a plain ol' rope again.
now the current has taken me south of the bridges and is
pushing me with a vengeance out into the Atlantic Ocean. Not
to worry. I've got my trusty little 2-horse power "kicker" or
safety engine bracketed to the stern for just such
emergencies. But, guess what? It won't start either. It's
brand, damned new... and... it won't start!
I'm miles out at sea. I'm pondering my situation and I
happen to look over my shoulder. What had been a nice day is
not so nice any more. I'm looking at one the blackest
skies I've ever seen. The storm that followed those clouds has
become a minor legend here in the Keys. It appeared literally
out of nowhere and lashed the ocean and islands with all the
fury of a scorned woman.
just a little juice left in my cell phone. I make a couple
calls and get the Coast Guard looking for me. They search for
a long time but they can't find me. You see, my boat is white
and, as I said, only 14 feet long... and... the whitecaps
breaking around me are bigger than the boat. The Coast Guard
asked me if I have a flare gun. I do with four flares.
up one into the air. They can't even see the flare. More
conversation. I tell them exactly where I am. Time goes by.
me to fire another flare. I do and they don't see this one
either. Meanwhile, I'm drifting farther and farther out to
sea. The waves are getting really big now and the water is
coming over the sides of my boat. I have a line attacked to
the boat and I tie it around my body. The boat has floatation
and I figure if it capsizes, my best chance of survival is to
stay with it.
while, the Coast Guard is ready for me to fire my third flare.
I do and they don't see that one either. I'm now very worried.
I'm sitting in a tiny boat which is being battered by large
waves. I'm wearing an "el cheapo" life jacket. (It's the kind
you should use when you are water skiing in calm water...
not... to survive a vicious storm.) And, I've only got one
I spot the Coast Guard boat!
can't see me but, I can see them. I tell them which direction
to point the bow of their boat and to look straight ahead and
watch for my flare. Then, I fire my very last one.
YAHOO! They see it!
Two boats race towards me. One is a cutter that tows my boat
in. The other is a big, honking Zodiac and I had to get off my
boat and onto that one right damn now! They snugged the
boats together, held them as tight as they could and I
rolled over my boat onto the deck of theirs.
began the roughest boat ride of my life. I was holding onto
the center console with all my strength and we were hitting
the waves so hard, my feet were flying off the deck. Then came
a monster wave. We hit it so hard, I flew way up in the air
and when I came down, I smashed my left leg. They tell me to
stand up. I can't. I make the rest of that ride sitting on the
deck of a boat smashing through the turbulent water like Lee
Crull kicking ass in a bar full of bikers.
it's over. We're at the Coast Guard station and we're safe.
Somehow, I manage to hobble off the Zodiac. They give me a
blanket to wrap myself in. My Aunt and Uncle are there to take
nightmare is over.
little known to me, an even worse one is just beginning. I get
my leg checked out and it turns out it's not broken.
However, it's sprained so badly, they tell me it will be six
months to a year before it's back to normal.
two days later, I experience some horrible complications
associated with some medicine prescribed for me and I become
almost literally non-functional. What I had done was stop
taking the medicine because I figured I no longer needed it.
Well, when my trusty assistant, Theresa flew down to drive me
to a doctor, I learned you have to taper off that particular
medicine... and... quitting it abruptly as I did can cause
you... to die!
way, that experience was worse than the boat
we're up to just a few days ago and it has occurred to me I
have been very lucky lately and I need to start being even
more careful than I usually am. The brakes on my car are
giving me a little problem and I have been putting off having
them worked on. So, I say to myself, "Self, not paying
attention to stuff like this is what gets you in trouble. Go
get your brakes fixed right now!"
So I do.
behold, the very next day after I get my brakes fixed,
the car ahead of me on the busiest section of U.S. 1 comes to
a complete stop... with... no brake lights! I hit the
brakes as hard as I can. If I hadn't had them fixed, I would
have "fishtailed" into the other (very busy) lane. As
it was, it was impossible to stop fast enough to avoid hitting
the car in front of me... so... I wrench the wheel hard to the
right and hurtle off the road and down the gully. Finally, I
come to a stop. I'm unhurt and my car isn't even scratched.
The guy in front of me gives me a blank look, starts his car
and takes off down the highway without even a backward glance.
I'm sure it didn't even occur to him to check to see if I was
which brings me to my first important point. Now that I live
back down in the Keys, I have my old personal trainer back, a
small woman named Marilyn White who I affectionately refer to
as the "Nazi Bitch." She's easily the best trainer I've ever
had and she gets more out of me in a workout session three
times a week than I would've ever believed I had in me. She's
got me in such good shape and so strong most people who don't
know me guess me to be ten to twenty years younger than my
absolutely convinced if it weren't for my working out, my leg
really would have been broken in that boating accident. As it
was, like I said earlier, when they examined my leg they said
it would be six months to a year until it would be OK. Well,
I'd say it's 90% OK already in just over three weeks. I give
credit to my workouts for that also.
that near accident I had on U.S. 1? What if my reaction time
had been a split second slower? It could have been very bad. I
think working out helped in that situation also.
know, a few years ago, I was talking with a few of my friends
and we were pondering the age-old question of what we would do
if we had unlimited money. Homes in different cities. A boat
on each coast. Several cars. Money to charities and research
organizations we believed in. Every one of us also said,
"I'd get myself a personal trainer." Then it hit us.
That's something we can afford right now. I've had one
ever since. You can't believe the difference it will make in
your life. Get yourself a personal trainer, arrange to workout
first thing in the morning and you'll be stronger, fitter,
calmer, have more self-esteem, have much more of an "up"
outlook on life... and...
Make A Lot
know, whenever I write a newsletter like this, I always get a
few "bitch" letters. "I don't need to know this crap. I
want to know about sales letters, lead-generating ads,
copywriting tricks, mailing lists, etc."
nearly always get a few "rave" letters too. You know who those
come from? They come from the most successful of my
subscribers. The winners. People like Joe Sugarman, Ben
Suarez, Ted Nicholas, Joe Polish, Robert Allen and so on.
these people know what it really takes to win and
that your #1 Priority needs to be...
yourself a personal trainer. Don't you dare lie to me or
yourself and say you can't afford it. You can't afford
not to do it! And, with what's coming up with Y2K,
this is something that will be more important than ever.
you are on any kind of crucial prescription medication, start
now to stock up on a surplus supply. The last thing you want
if you are on some heart medication or the like is not to be
able to access your doctor. Remember, it is in the area of
health care where the really serious problems are likely to
arise. A temporary blackout and lack of electricity is an
inconvenience. Failure to get the medication or medical care
you need can be fatal!
else should you do? Many alarmists will tell you to stock up
on canned foods and water. It's not a bad idea. But, I
wouldn't go overboard if I were you. The world is not
going to fall apart; it's just going to stumble like a dead
drunk sailor for a while.
your business depend on computers? If so, getageek to make
sure they are Y2K ready NOW! Listen: These guys (the
Millennium Bug Exterminators) are going to be so much in
demand later this year, you probably won't even be able to
hire one. Even if you can get one, if you wait much longer,
you're going to have to pay through the nose.
Get ready to bite the bullet. No matter what business you are
in, chances are excellent your sales are going to plummet.
Money is going to dry up and people are going to be afraid to
spend. Get rid of all buildings, equipment, employees and
expenses you can do without... and... do it soon. Look, the
entire globe is connected now. Any economic problem in any
country affects in some way... all other countries. A
business bankruptcy in Brazil will have consequences for a
hardware store in the Bronx. Turmoil in Kosovo affects folks
in Kansas. (Why are we fighting over there anyway?) Russian
poverty portends poorly for prosperity in Rhode Island.
things are happening faster than ever now. There's a new book
called "Blur" which details the speed at which
everything is changing and has some valuable advice on how you
must adapt to this change. Check this out: It
took from 1896 to 1972 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to
hit 1,000. That's 76 years.
from 1972 to 1987 for the Dow to go up another 1,000 points to
over 2,000. That's 15 years.
from 1987 to 1991 for the next 1,000 point jump to 3,000.
That's four years.
from 1991 to 1995 to hit 4,000. That's also four years.
from February of 1995 to November of 1995 to hit 5,000. That's
from November of 1995 to October of 1996 to hit 6,000. That's
from October of 1996 to February of 1997 to hit 7,000. That's
from February of 1997 to July of 1997 to hit 8,000. That's
from July of 1997 to April of 1998 to hit 9,000. That's nine
from April of 1998 to March of 1999 to hit 10,000. That's 11
long did the last 1,000 point jump take? How long to go from
10,000 to 11,000?
lemme ask you something: When things start going bad, how fast
do you think it's going to happen? A hint: Last August,
investors lost 500 billion in 24 hours!
you be fearful and morbid about all this? Not at all. It's
going to be exciting. For those who are ready, a whole new
world of opportunity is going to open up. I bet an investment
in gold bullion coins right now will increase in value by
500%, 1000% or more by sometime next January. I bet homes,
cars, boats and everything else under the sun will be for sale
at dirt-cheap prices next year. I bet those of you who are
fleet-footed enough to learn how to help all those poor souls
totally unprepared for Y2K will be able to make a
you've got to be lean, healthy, fit, mobile and liquid. Think
of yourself as an American soldier approaching a German farm
house in WWII. You don't know whether there's a young, horny
German farm girl or a Nazi sniper inside the house. But,
you've got condoms in your wallet and bullets in your weapon
Ready For Whatever
Out Of That House!
how you should be thinking about this very real Y2K
problem that looms just over the horizon.
Gary C. Halbert
P.S. Next month, I'm going to reveal unto you a mail order secret
that will blow your socks off!
This month though, I felt compelled to tell you what you
really needed to know and, at least attempt to shake you out
of your state of "chronic denial."
I hope to some degree, I succeeded.
Copyright © 2002 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights