The FCAT: Financial Crisis Aptitude Test


When searching for a new job, especially in finance, it’s essential to stay informed of current business news and trends, since they’re often the topics of interview questions and lunch meetings, and could affect where (and to whom) you’ll be sending your resume.

To that end, find out how prepared you are for your job search: Test your knowledge of bank failures, bankruptcy filings, mergers and bailout plans by taking the FCAT (Financial Crisis Aptitude Test) below.

1. Which bank merger was brokered by the federal government?

(a) JPMorgan Chase-Bear Stearns

(b) JPMorgan Chase-Washington Mutual

(c) Citigroup-Wachovia

(d) All of the above

2. Which firm was seized by the Feds and is now partially owned by U.S. taxpayers (whether they like it or not)?

(a) American International Group

(b) Fannie Mae

(c) Freddie Mac

(d) All of the above

3. Which statement was made by Lehman Brothers C.E.O. Dick Fuld in June 2008, three months before his firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

(a) “We have begun to take the necessary steps to restore the credibility of our

great franchise and to ensure this quarter’s unacceptable performance is not


(b) “We’ve made a number of changes. Now it’s now my job to make sure we


(c) “Today, with the power of this franchise, we can very much go it alone and be

very strong.”

(d) All of the above

(a) KKR

(b) TPG

(c) AIG

(d) PIG

5. Who likened attempting to persuade Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to include CEO salary restrictions on the Fed’s $700 billion bailout plan to “trying to force the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem to eat bacon on Yom Kippur?”

(a) Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska

(b) Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee

(c) Warren Buffett, Oracle of Nebraska

(d) All of the above

6. True or False: Bear Stearns, IndyMac, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia and Washington Mutual have either failed, filed for bankruptcy or been acquired in the past year.

7. Which two banks switched their status to holding companies to increase their resources and prevent their failing?

(a) Goldman Sachs & Morgan Stanley

(b) IndyMac & Bear Stearns

(c) Merrill Lynch & Lehman Brothers

(d) Wachovia & Washington Mutual

8. Which of the following men has NEVER been employed by Goldman Sachs?

(a) Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson

(b) White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten

(c) World Wrestling Entertainment’s Charlie “Haas of Pain” Haas

(d) None of the above

9. True or False: In an interview after buying $5 billion worth of preferred stock in Goldman Sachs, Warren Buffet, the 78-year-old investing guru worth more than $60 billion, said, “It's nice to have a lot of money, but you don't want to keep it around forever … Otherwise it's a little like saving up sex for your old age.”

10. Who said, “It’s the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys,” of Senator John McCain suspending his campaign until a federal bailout package could be reached?

(a) Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska

(b) Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia

(c) Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee

(d) All of the above

11. How many points did the Dow Jones Industrial Average fall yesterday after the House of Representatives failed to pass the federal bailout plan?

(a) 2

(b) 12

(c) 666

(d) 777


(1) d, (2) d, (3) d, (4) b, (5) b, (6) true, (7) a, (8) d, (9) true, (10) c, (11) d


Derek Loosvelt is’s global finance editor. He has a BS in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in creative writing from The New School. He is a writer and editor and has worked for Brill’s Content and Previously, he worked in investment banking at CIBC and Duff & Phelps.

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