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MoneyWeek's quiz of the week, 9-15 January

Joe Biden has promised to vaccinate millions of Americans in his first 100 days in office. But how many? 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. Joe Biden, America’s incoming Democrat US President, has unveiled plans for a $1.9trn economic relief package. The stimulus plan includes $415bn to fight the virus and $440bn for small businesses. Biden also wants to pump $20bn into vaccinating the nation. How many vaccines does his administration plan to give in 100 days?

  • a. 100 million,
  • b. 50 million,
  • c. 100,000,
  • d. 500,000.

2. Plans for a Sex and the City revival series have been announced this week, but only three members of the original foursome will return. Cast members have fallen out in the past over salary discrepancies. This time round, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davies are all set to make over $1.3m per episode of the ten-episode series reboot. Which actress, who played Samantha Jones, will not be returning?

  • a. Meg Ryan,
  • b. Kim Cattrall,
  • c. Jennifer Grey,
  • d. Laura Linney.

3. “Welcome to Brexit, sir,” a Dutch police officer said to a British lorry driver while confiscating his sandwiches at the Netherlands border in line with new Brexit rules under which the EU does not allow for meat, meat products, milk or dairy to be brought in from other countries. What was the filling in the driver’s contraband sandwich?

  • a. Cheese,
  • b. Ham,
  • c. Chicken Caesar,
  • d. Beef and horseradish.

4. Charlie Mullins, chairman of Pimlico Plumbers, the UK’s largest independent plumbing company, has made a statement saying employees in his 400-strong workforce will have to have what coronavirus-related protection before they can work?

  • a. Employees must have a Covid-19 vaccine,
  • b. Employees must submit to weekly testing,
  • c. Employees must take antibody tests every month,
  • d. Employees must agree to all three.

5. Stefan Thomas, a San Francisco-based computer programmer, has forgotten the password to access his bitcoin wallet. He only has two more attempts to guess it before his hard drive, which contains his private keys to the bitcoin, is encrypted and he will never see the money. How much is his bitcoin worth?

  • a. $370m,
  • b. $120m,
  • c. $485m,
  • d. $240m.

6. The UK economy shrank by another 2.6% in November thanks to the month-long lockdown which came into force on bonfire night, meaning GDP was still 8.5% below its pre-pandemic peak. By contrast, the German economy has experienced one of the smallest economic declines in Europe caused by the pandemic. By how much did the German economy shrink in 2020?

  • a. 3%,
  • b. 7%,
  • c. 5%,
  • d. 2%.

7. Primark, the fast-fashion retailer, has said lockdown measures will lose the company a great deal of sales revenue. The vendor does not sell online, and three-quarters of its store space is closed, including all of its 190 UK shops and 115 across European markets. How much does the chain predict the closures will cost the company?

  • a. £540m,
  • b. £650m,
  • c. £850m,
  • d. £1bn 

8. Eight former members of Carillion, the construction and building management company which collapsed back in 2018, each face being banned as company directors for a set period of time. How many years will the ban last for?

  • a. 20 years,
  • b. 7 years,
  • c. 15 years,
  • d. 10 years.

9. Estate agents and housebuilders have recently taken to which social media platform to advertise and market their businesses and properties on offer?

  • a. TikTok,
  • b. Instagram,
  • c. Twitter,
  • d. LinkedIn.

10. One British supermarket chain will become the first to pay its staff at least £10 an hour from April. The increase will see its minimum pay rise from £9.20 for up to 96,000 workers. Which chain is responsible for the raise?

  • a. Sainsbury’s,
  • b. Morrisons,
  • c. Co-op,
  • d. Waitrose. 

Answers

1. a. 100 million. Biden says the “vaccine rollout in the United States has been a dismal failure this far” and plans to deliver 100 million jabs in 100 days.

2. b. Kim Cattrall. Cattrall will not be making an appearance in the revival, titled And Just Like That - a nod to one of the show’s original catchphrases.

3. b. Ham. The driver asked if only the ham could be confiscated and he could keep the bread, but his request was denied.

4. a. Employees must have a Covid-19 vaccine. Mullins said he will introduce a “no jab, no job” policy requiring all of his workers to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Employment lawyers have questioned whether it would be legally enforceable.

5. d. $240m. A decade ago, Thomas was given 7002 bitcoins as a thank you for making a video explaining how the cryptocurrency works. At the time, the coins were worth $2-$6 each. He stashed them away, undisturbed, in his digital wallet – until now. Today, each bitcoin is worth around $34,000, so the contents of Thomas’ wallet are valued at $240m. But Thomas has forgotten the password that will unlock the fortune.

6. c. 5%. Although the coronavirus pandemic has caused the deepest European recession since the 2008 financial crisis, the German economy shrank by only 5% last year. By comparison, output is expected to drop by over 9% in France and Italy and by 11.3% in the UK – the worst performance for more than 300 years.

7. d. £1bn. Primark says lockdown closures will mean missing out on over £1bn in sales. It is confident of a post-pandemic resurgence, however, with John Bason, finance director at Primark’s owner Associated British Foods, promising: “We are going to be back”.

8. c. 15 years. The former board members are each facing being banned as company directors for up to 15 years. Among them are captains of industry, ex-chief executives and senior directors of FTSE 100 companies.

9. a. TikTok. British estate agents have started making TikTok accounts after the trend caught on in the US. Housebuilder Avanton is launching what it says will be the first London property development to be marketed via TikTok. The UK developer is partnering with agency Corban Group to showcase its £120m project in Battersea. TikTok averages one billion views per day, but the problem the real estate industry faces is the app’s age appeal – 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24.

10. b. Morrisons. The supermarket said for the majority of its workers, the pay increase will be approximately 9%. The pay rise will boost the weekly income of someone working 36.75 hours a week from £330.10 to £367.50.

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