Contact: Kathy Pitman, Duke-Fuqua, (919) 660-8090 or Chris Allen, FEI, (973) 898-4658

CFO SURVEY: Although Confident in Their Own Readiness,

14% Expect a Market Sell-Off in Response to Y2K and 6% Expect Lawsuits;

ALSO FOUND: Prices Expected To Creep Higher Next Year

DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 27 — A new poll of 272 companies indicates that 37 percent of corporate executives expect the US economy to experience some problems associated with Year 2000, while another 63 percent expect that Year 2000 will be a non-event.

Fourteen percent predict a market-wide sell-off in response to Y2K. Nearly one-half of CFOs in the mining and construction industries anticipate a sell-off. The results are from the latest Financial Executives Institute/Duke University Corporate Outlook Survey, conducted the week of Sept. 13.

"There is still some trepidation about Y2K, as six percent of CFOs expect their firm will be subject to lawsuits as a result of problems that occur when the calendar changes from 1999 to 2000," says Duke University finance professor John Graham, director of the survey. "And thirteen percent of banking and finance firms anticipate lawsuits."

Overall, however, confidence is high. Notes FEI President and CEO Philip Livingston, "Only 2% of the respondents expect that Year 2000 will interfere with their ability to provide products and services, and only 3% believe that their companies’ suppliers will have difficulties resulting from Y2K."

Other Y2K findings from the FEI/Duke survey:






Capital Expenditures




Health Care Costs

About the Survey

The survey is conducted quarterly by FEI and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Each survey polls a broad cross-section of CFOs from over 3,000 U.S. companies. The current survey was conducted during the week of Sept. 13, 1999. Complete survey results are available on the Internet at:

About FEI and Fuqua

Financial Executives Institute is the leading advocate for the views of corporate financial management. Its 14,000 members hold policy-making positions as chief financial officers, treasurers and controllers at 8,000 companies throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, visit

The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University was founded in 1970. Fuqua’s mission is to provide the highest quality education for business and academic leaders and to promote the advancement of the understanding and practice of management through research.