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Money Box Christmas Quiz 2008

Money Box Christmas Quiz 2008

It's time to pit your wits against the financial nous of Paul Lewis and the Money Box team. Twenty festive fiendish fiscal questions await your attention. Good luck!

Christmas decorations

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Which British coin was NOT redesigned in 2008?

Man weighing new coins at the Royal Mint in 1964
  1. 5p
  2. 50p
  3. £2

2.) Multiple Choice Question

Which was the first UK bank to be declared in default in 2008?

Northern Rock customers outside the Kingston branch, in order to take their money out of their accounts on September 15th 2007
  1. Northern Rock
  2. Bradford & Bingley
  3. Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlander

3.) Missing Word Question

"The present financial crisis is the worst for * years"

  1. 30
  2. 60
  3. 90

4.) Multiple Choice Question

Which year comes next in this time sequence: 1897, 1932, 1939, ....?

  1. 1954
  2. 1979
  3. 2008

5.) Multiple Choice Question

When was the term "credit crunch" first used?

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in September 2008
  1. 1929
  2. 1966
  3. 2007

6.) Multiple Choice Question

When did seven forty-sevenths become three twenty-thirds?

An abacus
  1. After the budget
  2. At the start of the tax year
  3. After the pre-budget

7.) Multiple Choice Question

How tall is the BBC's Economics Editor Hugh Pym?

BBC Economics Editor Hugh Pym
  1. 6'3
  2. 6'5
  3. 6'7

8.) Multiple Choice Question

How many times has the Bank of England cut interest rates to 3% since it was founded in 1694?

The Bank of England
  1. 57
  2. 75
  3. 92

9.) Missing Word Question

"Wall St rebound a dead * bounce"

  1. cat
  2. duck
  3. donkey

10.) Multiple Choice Question

How many interviews and packages did BBC Business Editor Robert Peston record on his busiest day in 2008?

BBC Business Editor Robert Peston
  1. 19
  2. 27
  3. 32

11.) Multiple Choice Question

Who did Newsweek describe as the "world's worst banker"?

Pile of British pound coins with the flag of the USA in background
  1. Fred the Shred
  2. The Sage of Swindon
  3. Hank the Tank

12.) Multiple Choice Question

How long should a 65 year old man now be expected to live, according to the Pensions Regulator?

St Marylebone cemetery in London
  1. Until age 85
  2. Until age 89
  3. Until age 93

13.) Multiple Choice Question

Faster payments finally began in May 2008. When did the UK payments authority first tell Money Box that a same-day system was on the way?

A baby Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth
  1. 1998
  2. 2000
  3. 2002

14.) Multiple Choice Question

What is the minimum purchase on the oil futures market?

Traders deal in the crude oil futures pit of the New York Mercantile Exchange
  1. 1 barrel
  2. 1000 barrels
  3. 100,000 barrels

15.) Multiple Choice Question

Of the twenty four Premium Bond millionaires created in 2008, what proportion was female?

The second ERNIE machine, pictured in the 1970s (Photo: National Savings and Investments)
  1. a tenth
  2. a third
  3. a half

16.) Multiple Choice Question

How much was former Financial Services Authority chairman Callum McCarthy paid in 2007/08?

Sir Callum McCarthy
  1. £358,890
  2. £412,476
  3. £480,553

17.) Multiple Choice Question

How many residential mortgages were available to new customers on Wednesday 17 December 2008?

A pair of house keys
  1. 1,742
  2. 6,208
  3. 11,951

18.) Multiple Choice Question

What was the shadow chancellor's first first name?

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne appearing on the Andrew Marr Show
  1. George
  2. Gareth
  3. Gideon


A number of Icelandic banks got into financial difficulty during 2008. But when Money Box asked Icesave's managing director Mark Sismey-Durrant why customers could not access their online savings accounts, what explanation did he offer?

People take to the streets of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik on 8 November to protest about the country's financial crisis

19.) Missing Word Question

"It’s a * not a failure"

  1. glitch
  2. gremlin
  3. gaffe

20.) Multiple Choice Question

What was the mean annual pay before tax for full time employees in London in April 2008?

Shadows of commuters crossing London Bridge
  1. £25,123
  2. £31,323
  3. £46,462


  1. All UK coins except the £2 were redesigned to contain a portion of the Royal Shield of Arms, which features in full on the £1 coin. It was the first change for 40 years.
  2. It was Bradford & Bingley, which was declared in default on 29 September 2008, triggering the financial services compensation scheme (FSCS). Although Northern Rock was nationalised on 22 February 2008, it was not declared in default, and carried on trading. KS&F was declared in default on 8 October 2008.
  3. In an interview with The Guardian's Decca Aitkenhead in August 2008, Mr Darling said "The economic times we are facing are arguably the worst they've been in 60 years... and I think it's going to be more profound and long-lasting than people thought."
  4. It's 2008. The dates refer to the three previous occasions when the Bank of England cut its main lending rate to 2%. The Monetary Policy Committee cut rates to 2% on 4 December, 2008.
  5. The first recorded use of the phrase was by economists Sidney Homer and Henry Kaufman at Salomon Brothers in a paper in 1966.
  6. It's 1 December, 2008 the day when VAT was cut from 17.5% to 15%. That changed the fraction which describes the VAT element of a VAT inclusive price from 7/47 to 3/23. £117.50 x 7/47 = £17.50. And £115 x 3/23 is £15.
  7. At 6'7, Hugh Pym is one of the tallest reporters at the BBC. He was appointed Economics Editor in June 2008, covering for the considerably shorter Stephanie Flanders who is on maternity leave.
  8. Rates have been set at 3% 92 times but they have been CUT to 3% on 57 occasions since rates were first set in 1694.
  9. The phrase "dead cat bounce" describes the small temporary rise seen after a spectacular decline in share prices, which is followed by further falls. It is based on the notion that even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great enough height.
  10. On September 17, the day he broke the story that HBOS and Lloyds TSB were in merger talks, Robert racked up 32 appearances across BBC radio and television outlets.
  11. Royal Bank of Scotland's former chief executive Fred Goodwin was named the world's worst banker in December, 2008. His nickname derives from his enthusiasm for cutting costs and jobs. He resigned as RBS chief executive in October 2008 after the government took a multimillion pound stake in the company.
  12. In February, the Pensions Regulator told pension scheme trustees to use the "more realistic" assumption that he would live to be 89. Every extra year of life adds 3 to 4% to the cost of funding a final-salary pension scheme.
  13. APACS first promised Money Box that a speedier payment system was on the way on 25 March 2000, days after the publication of the Cruickshank Report into banking competition. The commitment was repeated many times in the intervening eight years.
  14. In August BBC reporter Simon Cox bought a contract for the minimum 1000 barrels by putting down a 10% deposit of £6,500. In his five minutes of trading, he lost $550 before an automatic stop mechanism kicked in.
  15. Sixteen male millionaires were created versus eight female millionaires. Nineteen of the winners lived in England; three in Scotland and two in Wales.
  16. Sir Callum's total remuneration for 2007/08 was £480,553 made up of salary of £396,000 and benefits totalling £84,553. He was replaced as FSA chairman by Lord Turner of Ecchinswell in September 2008.
  17. According to the financial comparison site Moneyfacts, there were 1,742 residential mortgages available on 17 December 2008, compared with 6,208 on 2 January 2008 and 11,951 on 1 July 2007.
  18. Gideon George Oliver Osborne was born on 23 May 1971. He has been MP for Tatton since 2001 and shadow chancellor since 2005.
  19. He made the "glitch" comment on 4 October 2008. The company told Money Box that the website was fixed shortly afterwards, but four days later the bank was declared in default by the Financial Services Authority.
  20. According to the latest ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, the mean gross annual pay in London in April 2008 was £46,462, compared with the UK mean which was £31,323.

Your Score

0 - 5 : Mattress

6 - 10 : Piggybank

11 - 15 : Safe deposit box

16 - 20 : Swiss bank account

Money Box is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 every Saturday at noon. Money Box Live will broadcast on BBC Radio 4 every Wednesday at 3pm from January 7 2009.

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