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Quiz of the week 14-20 November

Boris Johnson announced a range of green measures this week, including phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. But by when? And what else happened this week? Test your recollection of the events of the last seven days with MoneyWeek's quiz of the week.

1. Argentina and Ecuador are two of the countries to have defaulted on their debt this year as their economies buckled under the strain of Covid-19. But which African nation became the first to do so this month?

a. Zambia, b. Egypt, c. Ethiopia, d. Eritrea

2. Japan’s economy saw a tepid rebound in the third quarter, with the economy climbing by only 5%, with annualised growth at 21.4% –  lower than other economies its size. The world’s third largest economy had been struggling before the pandemic. What had set it back previously?

a. Decreasing demand from China harmed its exports, b. An increase in consumer tax harmed retail spending, c. A typhoon in late 2019 badly damaged the economy, d. All of the above

3. Which actor revealed in an interview with GQ magazine this week he gave three of his closest friends $1m each after a successful film?

a. Brad Pitt, b. Matt Damon, c. George Clooney, d. Tom Cruise

4. Which Russell Group university will be the first to reduce its entry requirements for most subjects for the next academic year due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on prospective students?

a. Cardiff University, b. Newcastle University, c. University of York, d. Birmingham University

5. The websites of Tesco, John Lewis, Currys and Game crashed after they were unable to cope with demand for the PlayStation 5, which launched yesterday and retailed for £449. When was the first PlayStation launched in the UK?

a. 1992, b. 1994, c. 1998, d. 1995

6. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to publish a “scary” outlook for the UK economy in next week’s spending review, announcing the largest downgrade in economic performance since when?

a. The 2008 financial crisis, b. World War II, c. The early 1980s recession, d. The early 1990s recessions

7. The UK government has announced a £300m bailout package that will benefit several English sports whose finances have been harmed by the lockdowns that prevented fans from attending stadiums. Which sport is not set to benefit from the rescue package?

a. Rugby, b. Horseracing, c. National League football, d. Cricket

8. Poland and Hungary threatened this week to prevent a €1.8trn seven-year budget and Covid-19 recovery package for the EU from being approved. The proposal needs unanimous approval from the EU’s 27 members. Why have they refused?

a. Because they wouldn’t get the amount of money they asked for, b. Because their finance ministers don’t like Christine Lagarde, c. Because the conditions of the plan include independence of judges and a free press, d. Because they want to leave the EU

9. Amazon has worried high street retailers in the United States by announcing an expansion of which of its delivery businesses?

a. Fresh fruits and vegetables, b. Pharmaceuticals, c. Clothing, d. Meal kit boxes

10. Boris Johnson announced his ten-point plan to a greener UK this week, promising £12bn worth of investment in a variety of green infrastructure, such as cycle lanes, electric-car charging points, and sustainable power sources. He also announced a ban on the sale of new cars powered solely by internal-combustion engines by which year?

a. 2025, b. 2035, c. 2040, d. 2030

Answers

1. a. Zambia. Zambia defaulted on its debt this week after the government failed to pay a $42.5m interest payment last week in the middle of tense negotiations over restructuring its debt.

2. d. All of the above. The pandemic was the catalyst that tipped its economy over the edge, but it had been struggling for some time before the virus broke. The USA grew by 7.4% in the third quarter and 33.1% on an annualised basis, and China by 4.9 % and 30%.

3. c. George Clooney. Clooney told GQ magazine after he came into money due to the success of his 2013 film Gravity, he gave three close friends $1m each. He was a bachelor at the time, and doubted he would ever marry or have a family. “I thought, ‘What I do have are all these guys who’ve all, over a period of 35 years, helped me in one way or another. I’ve slept on their couches when I was broke. They’ve loaned me money… they’re all in the will. So why am I waiting to get hit by a bus?”

4. d. Birmingham University.

5. d. 1995. The original PlayStation was launched in Japan in December 1994, and in the US and Europe in September 1995. In the UK, it retailed at £299. It became the first games console ever to sell over 100 million units worldwide.

6. b. World War II. The chancellor will deliver his statement to the House of Commons next Wednesday. Forecasts predict the economy will still be weathering the effects of the pandemic by 2024.

7. d. Cricket. Almost half of that amount, £147m, will go to rugby in the form of loans. Football has been granted £28m, £3m of which will go to the women’s game with the remainder going to the National League – the fifth tier of the men's game. The British horse racing industry will receive £40m, while other sports such as basketball, netball and tennis receiving support too. But cricket and high-tier professional men’s football will miss out.

8. c. Because the conditions of the plan include independence of judges and a free press. Poland said its sovereignty was “priceless” as it refused to sign the treaty. The countries hardest-hit by the pandemic now face a delay in receiving their first instalment.

9. b. Pharmaceuticals. The e-commerce giant launched Amazon Pharmacy in the United States this week, offering Americans fast delivery of prescription drugs and discounted generic medications. Shares in US pharmacy chains fell sharply after the announcement.

10. d. 2030. The sale of new cars powered solely by petrol or diesel engines will be banned from 2030. Sales of new hybrid-engined cars will be phased out by 2035 as part of the prime minister’s plan for a greener Britain.

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