Facebook flopped, Disney dazzled, Elon Musk picked a fight and there was a case of mistaken identity on Wall Street. How much financial news of 2018 do you remember? Try our quiz, compiled by Madeleine Taylor.
1. Banksy’s Girl with Balloon painting made headlines when it self-destructed at Sotheby’s auction house in London. How much did it sell for that day? a) £600,000 b) £1m c) £3m
2. How much money did the UK government’s latest budget put aside for fixing potholes? a) £4m b) £42m c) £420m
3. A British diver, Vernon Unsworth, is suing Elon Musk for defamation after the Tesla chief executive called him “a paedo”? How much is he seeking in damages? a) £57,000 b) £75,000 c) £107,000
4. An American boy named Ryan became YouTube’s highest-earning star this year, raking in an impressive £17.3m for his popular ToysReview videos online. How old is he? a) 7 b) 8 c) 9
5. How much is HS2’s budget for delivering rail lines from London to Birmingham and on to Manchester and Leeds? a) £48bn b) £56bn c) £108bn
6. Google was fined by European regulators in June for favouring its own shopping service in search engine results. How much did it forfeit? a) €1.3bn b) €2.4bn c) €3.9bn
7. Walmart made the largest ever e-commerce acquisition this year when it bought a 77% share in Indian online retailer Flipkart. How much did it cost the retail giant? a) $16bn b) $29bn c) $35bn
8. How much was Facebook fined by Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office for failing to secure its users’ personal data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal? a) £220,000 b) £500,000 c) £850,000
9. Grassroots football in Scotland not only gives the economy a direct boost, but is worth millions in social and health benefits such as crime reduction and improved cardiovascular health, according to a study commissioned by UEFA. How much in total does the report claim the sport is worth to Scotland? a) £590 m b) £870m c) £1.25bn
1. Which Irish rock band collected $118m in pre-tax earnings to become the highest -paid pop act in the world between June 2017 and June 2018?
2. Which public figure’s 32-hour visit to Ireland in August reportedly cost €32m, or €1m an hour?
3. The world’s richest man and only “hectobillionaire” – someone with net assets worth more than $100 bn – was embroiled in controversy this year owing to his company’s treatment of employees, tax payments (or lack thereof), and philanthropic initiatives. Name him.
4. Which singer became the world’s highest-paid dead celebrity after his estate raked in $400m, mostly in sales from his EMI Group shares?
5. Out of the ten richest people in the world, which lost the most money ($18bn) in 2018 owing to his company suffering the worst ever one-day share price dive in US stockmarket history?
6. Who is the highest-paid actor of 2018 who didn’t star in anything apart from a series of ads for Nespresso coffee this year, but still managed to rake in $239m thanks to the sale of his tequila brand, Casamigos?
7. Members of which 1990s British girl-group can expect to earn £2.2 million each for a six-day reunion tour next summer?
8. An impersonator of which rock legend, born in the USA, scammed a fan out of $1,600 by claiming to need help recovering an “investment in gold he made in Dubai”?
9. Everyone was expecting the Football Association to sell Wembley Stadium this year. But the owner of Fulham FC unexpectedly withdrew his offer of £600m. Can you name him?
Who said what?
Quotes: put the words with the person who said them
1. “The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30% of their ice-cream.”
2. “My mother’s idea of being poor was going to the Ritz on a bus.”
3. “Who could keep 59 stores open, besides God? I’m not Father Christmas. I believe I’m a very fair guy.”
4. “Davos is where billionaires tell millionaires how the middle class feels.”
1. Which company became the world’s first trillion dollar public company in August, when its stock price reached $207.05?
2. And which American tech giant briefly overtook it in November?
3. Which S&P 500 maker of Barbie dolls paid its chief executive 4,987 times the median salary of its worldwide workers ($31.3 million, compared to $6,271)?
4. Russian hackers are thought to have made £9.4bn from a massive data breach last August that affected 245,000. Which UK company did they target?
5. Which Disney-owned film studio broke records this year for the highest-grossing opening weekend with Avengers: Infinity War, raking in $640m?
6. Which recent American tech start-up claims that by analysing DNA it can predict the intelligence of an embryo?
7. Why was British entrepreneur and government scientific adviser Mike Lynch charged with fraud and conspiracy by the US Department of Justice in November?
8. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers is now the richest woman in the world after inheriting a 33% share in which cosmetics giant on her mother’s death last year?
1. Former Nissan Motor chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn (pictured) was arrested in November on suspicion of underreporting his own pay. As a result, which Asian country’s stock exchanges will now require companies to disclose their procedures for deciding the salaries of their top executives?
2. Of the stocks listed in the FTSE 100, which performed worst this year, dropping 43.8% over the year to mid-December?
3. Which commodity performed worst in 2018?
4. Which Asian currency hit an all-time low of 70.8 against the dollar, depreciating by 13%?
5. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq both closed on 5 December. Which event did this mark?
6. Which commodity overtook gold as the world’s most valuable metal this year?
7. One of Africa’s biggest economies suffered a recession in the first half of 2018 that saw its GDP shrink by an annualised 0.7% in the second quarter after a 2.6% fall in the first. Which country was it?
8. Trulieve and Charlotte’s Web were listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange this summer. In the US, MedMen and Green Thumb Industries also went public. Which market, expected to be worth $146.4 billion by end of 2025, do these companies all serve?
9. The chief of which European country’s biggest bank resigned after admitting up to £180bn of cash-flow had been money-laundered?
10. Which former Goldman Sachs banker caused confusion when appointed CEO of London Stock Exchange Group as he shares his name with an actor from TV sitcom Friends?
Answers will be revealed next week. Subscribers can see the answers now in the magazine or the MoneyWeek App. Not a subscriber? Sign up now.
1 b) £1m 2 c) £420m 3 a) £57,000 4 a) 7 5 b) £56bn 6 b) €2.4 bn 7 a) $16bn 8 b) £500,000 9 c) £1.25bn
1. U2 2. Pope Francis 3. Jeff Bezos 4. Michael Jackson 5. Mark Zuckerberg 6. George Clooney 7. The Spice Girls 8. Bruce Springsteen 9. Shahid Khan
1. Apple 2. Microsoft 3. Mattel 4. British Airways 5. Marvel Studios 6. Genomic Prediction 7. The charges relate to Autonomy’s takeover by Hewlett-Packard in 2011. Lynch allegedly overstated Autonomy’s sales in the two years before the deal. 8. L’Oreal
1. Japan 2. British American Tobacco 3. Sugar 4. Indian rupee 5. The funeral of former US president George H.W. Bush 6. Palladium 7. South Africa 8. Legal cannabis 9. Denmark’s Danske Bank 10. David Schwimmer
1C. Bill Murray 2D. Baroness Trumpington 3C. Mike Ashley 4A.Jamie Dimon