If you surf news sites incessantly, can't wait for the latest proclamations from the Federal Reserve and can name every federal stimulus plan rolled out over the past two years, you've come to the right place. • It's the season, once more, for testing your knowledge of current events near and far through our third annual Biz Quiz: salient snippets about the economy, corporate America and politics with a smidgen of pop culture tossed in. • Give yourself one point for each correct answer. (Two points if you happen to be a Wall Street executive — they always get a bonus, you know.)
1 According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, when did the Great Recession end?
a. June 2009
b. January 2010
c. June 2010
d. A month before the next recession began
2 Who recently complained: "They talk about me like a dog"?
a. President Barack Obama, referring to Washington special interests who are unhappy with him
b. Ex-Tampa International Airport chief Lou Miller, referring to the TIA board before he found friendlier skies running Atlanta's airport
c. Lady Gaga, referring to paparazzi attacks after she wore a dress that looked like cuts of meat at MTV's Video Music Awards
d. Senate candidate Charlie Crist, referring to opponents Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek doubling up on him
3 In an era of falling home prices, what's the common expression for owing more on your home than it's worth?
a. You're under the gun
b. You're underwater
c. You're under a cloud
d. You're under indictment
4 Which top adviser to President Obama is not quitting?
a. White House economic adviser Larry Summers
b. Herb Allison, head of the government's $700 billion financial bailout program
c. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel
d. They're all outta here
5 Tampa Bay stands out nationally for a recent surge in
b. Major League Baseball attendance
c. Home prices
d. Positive political commercials
6 True or false: Manchester United, the British soccer club owned by the Glazer family (which also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), is worth more than the Bucs, the Lightning and the Rays combined.
7 Who were the latest two carriers to agree to a merger just this past week?
a. United Airlines is buying Delta Air Lines
b. Delta Air Lines is buying Southwest Airlines
c. Southwest Airlines is buying AirTran Holdings
d. AirTran Holdings is buying whoever is left
8 Which of the following statements is false?
a. Verizon plans to stop delivering its White Pages to residential customers unless requested
b. Publix is testing a program to let shoppers place grocery orders online and then pick up food at the store
c. Florida Department of Agriculture says no oil-contaminated seafood has entered the commerce stream
d. Tampa International Airport is eliminating its free hour of parking for pickups or dropoffs
e. Florida officials credit the federal stimulus plan with creating 167,000 jobs statewide
9 A "strategic default" is:
a. When you purposely miss a tennis match because you're scared of losing
b. When you choose not to pay your mortgage even though you can afford it
c. A Republican strategy to block the continuation of middle-class tax cuts and blame Democrats
d. A Democratic strategy to block the continuation of upper-class tax cuts and blame Republicans
10 True or false: Both gold and silver prices recently hit record highs
11 The University of Florida has named its new MBA building in honor of what Tampa Bay area business leader?
a. Chuck Sykes
b. Craig Sher
c. Bill Hough
d. Judy Genshaft
e. Bea A. Gator
12 According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, ____________ has pulled in a cool $1.84 billion in compensation since 2000 making him the highest-paid CEO of the decade.
a. Apple's Steve Jobs
b. IACInterActive's Barry Diller
c. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer
d. Oracle's Larry Ellison
e. Tampa radio personality-turned multimedia pontificator Glenn Beck
13 In the new Wall Street movie sequel, Michael Douglas resurrects Gordon Gekko, a character preaching "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." Who reportedly was the character loosely based on?
a. Disgraced Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff
b. Disgraced trader Ivan Boesky
c. Disgraced Florida politician Ray Sansom
d. The GEICO gecko
14 St. Petersburg City Council recently made a controversial decision to tear down what landmark?
a. City Hall
b. Sunshine Skyway
c. The Pier
d. Tropicana Field
e. Bubba the Love Sponge's new downtown nightclub, Scene
Bonus Question (2 points): Florida's unemployment rate stood at 11.7 percent as of August. How low did it go back in early 2006?
Biz Quiz answers
6. True. According to Forbes, the Buccaneers are worth $1.03 billion, the Rays $316 million and the Lightning (bought this year for a reported $110 million) is worth $191 million. Add it up and it's shy of the $1.83 billion net worth of Manchester United, the planet's most valuable sports franchise.
8. d (TIA backed off a plan to charge airport short-timers.)
10. False. Gold prices hit record territory, but silver prices are at a mere 30-year high. Back in 1980, silver reached $50.35 an ounce, more than twice current levels.
12. d Ellison trumped No. 2 Diller, whose $1.14 billion take-home pay was built in part off of St. Petersburg's HSN.
Bonus Answer: From February to May 2006, Florida was sitting on a 3.3 percent unemployment rate.
How to calculate your score
0 to 4: Time to stop chasing the mystery monkey around Tampa Bay and check out the news.
5 to 8: Scattered signs of life. Kind of like the economy.
9 to 12: No need for any mental stimulus to figure out where the country is headed. Now, if you can clue in the rest of us …
13 to 16: Tweet it up! You're the next economic pundit/rock star coming soon to Fox/CNN/Comedy Central.