The likelihood of severe year-2000 problems seems more remote as better information about preparations is exchanged, Federal Reserve Board Governor Roger Ferguson said Thursday.

Clearer information, and more of it, is being shared worldwide by businesses, governments, and other organizations, he said. Underscoring how communication is improving confidence levels, Mr. Ferguson noted that a year ago there were concerns about Y2K readiness in Japan.

"Then they started to provide more information in English. Then the evaluators, in particular ratings agencies in New York, changed their evaluations quite quickly," he said.

Speaking at a conference sponsored by George Washington University, Mr. Ferguson said bankers are adept at dealing with problems that cause borrowers' repayments to falter. Taking actions such as boosting reserves, tightening credit, or changing terms of loans would be business as usual.

"The little glitches that may go wrong may not be that different from a temporary outage of one sort or another that emerges because of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane," Mr. Ferguson said.

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