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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Chairman Levitt Sends Letter to Public Companies re Year 2000 Disclosure



Washington, D.C., August 3, 1998 – Executives at more than 9,000 publicly traded companies will receive letters from the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission this week asking them to focus their attention on the disclosure of their companies' Year 2000 readiness. This letter directs their attention to the new interpretive release on disclosure of Year 2000 issues passed by the Commission on July 29, 1998. The complete letter follows.

July 29, 1998  

Dear __________:

I would like to focus your attention on one of the most pressing disclosure issues we face today – Year 2000 readiness. As you well know, unless modifications are made, at midnight on December 31, 1999, the vast majority of computer systems may not be able to distinguish the year 2000 from the year 1900. Many experts fear that this programming flaw could debilitate computer systems world wide.

Today, the Commission itself has spoken on this critical issue. We have just issued an interpretive release that describes, in detail, the type of information we expect to see in companies' periodic reports regarding their Year 2000 readiness. Time is short. I urge you to consult this release when preparing your periodic reports, beginning with your very next quarter. You can find this release on the SEC website at www.sec.gov or call (202) 942-7111 for a paper copy.

The unprecedented growth of our capital markets during the past decade is largely due to the confidence investors have in public companies like yours. Because the lack of information regarding your preparations for the Year 2000 could seriously undermine the confidence investors place in your company, it is imperative that you provide thorough, meaningful disclosure on this topic.

I look forward to reading about your company's Year 2000 readiness in the next periodic report you file with us.



  Arthur Levitt