What was so great about 1995? - Business - News - The Independent

What was so great about 1995?

Test your knowledge of the past year's triumphs and disasters. Compiled by Simon Pincombe

1 Who was Mary Ellen Synon referring to in March when she said: "I kept everything Roo touched - the envelopes on which he wrote my name, the ribbons that were tied around the books he gave me, even the leaders he wrote in The Economist ... I found him divine in everything."

2 Which departing chairman was forced to remove his personal belongings from his office at four o' clock on a February morning?

3 Which regulator wiped pounds 4.25bn off the value of shares in his sector and prompted one overseas institution to describe the City as "a financial banana republic'' ?

4 Who lost his employer $1.1bn? Was it:-

(a) Toshihide Iguchi

(b) Nick Leeson

(c) Kenneth Clarke

5 Who lost his employer $1.33bn? Was it:-

(a) Toshihide Iguchi

(b) Nick Leeson

(c) Kenneth Clarke.

6 Which actor does Nick Leeson want to play the role of Nick Leeson in the forthcoming Hollywood movie of the Barings disaster?

7 Who said of whom: "We would welcome them back - they have my phone number"?

8 Which Bank of England official failed to get the rise he wanted? Was it:-

(a) Eddie George

(b) Rupert Pennant-Rea

9 Which "fat cat" proved the last straw for the Government, sending Tim Eggar "incandescent'' with rage when he insisted on collecting an extra pounds 200,000 through a "special dividend''?

10 Which chief executive gave up bathing?

11 What happened when David Jones, chief executive of Sharelink, accused the London Stock Exchange of exploiting its monopoly powers on a BBC radio programme? The LSE had refused to supply real-time share prices over the internet.

12 How much in damages did the High Court award against the accountancy firm Binder Hamlyn earlier this month? And how much are each of the accountants personally liable for?

13 Who collapsed at the Maxwell trial after delivering the immortal line: "I'm sorry M'Lud this really isn't working...''?

14 Which famous US lawyer took tea with the Maxwell trial judge?

15 Who bought the Ritz?

16 Which firm of public relations advisers was publicly rebuked for breaching the Takeover Code and fired by its client?

17 1995 was a year of currency turbulence. Which of the following exchange rates has fallen the most in the past 12 months, and which the least?

(a) sterling's effective index against other major currencies?

(b) the Mexican peso against the dollar?

(c) the Italian lira against the German mark?

(d) the US dollar against the Yen

18 Who bought the Queen's jewellers, Asprey's?

19 The industrial nations started to tackle their budget deficits in 1995 - leading to a government shutdown in the US and demonstrations on the streets of Paris. Which OECD country has the biggest government deficit as a proportion of GDP?

20 The Wellcome trustees were not popular when they pledged their 39.5 per cent of the company to Glaxo during the pounds 9.4bn takeover bid in February. Some were personally threatened. What form did the threat take?

21 Whose shares jumped from just under pounds 5 in the summer to over pounds 26 earlier this month? And why?

22 Wall Street hit numerous successive highs this year. But what was the most spectacular performing share?

23 What is the average punt on the National Lottery?

24 Who produced a report which led to a snap change in the taxation of share options, a humiliating government climbdown, and drove its author to wear an apron bearing the words "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" when he appeared before the Commons employment select committee?

The answers

1 Rupert Pennant-Rea, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, who resigned after their affair became public.

2 Maurice Saatchi on leaving the firm he founded with his brother.

3 Professor Stephen Littlechild, the electricity regulator, when he announced a crackdown on electricity prices on the first day of dealings in National Power and PowerGen.

4 (a) Toshihide Iguchi, the Daiwa Bank trader who perpetrated the biggest financial scandal ever on American soil.

5 (b) Nick Leeson, the Barings trader who perpetrated the biggest financial scandal ever on any soil.

6: Nick Berry, formerly of the BBC soap opera Eastenders.

7 Marcel Ospel, chief executive of SBC Warburg, following SBC's takeover of the UK investment bank which saw many key Warburg players defect to other banks.

8 (a) Eddie George - when the Chancellor overruled his request for a base rate rise in May.

9 David Jeffries, chief executive of the National Grid.

10 Trevor Newton, chief executive of Yorkshire Water (so he said).

11 The LSE sued him for defamation (only to climb down two weeks later).

12 pounds 105m and around pounds 250,000 each.

13 Michael Hill, QC.

14 OJ Simpson's lawyer, Johnny Cochran

15 The Barclay twins.

16 Financial Dynamics were fired by the construction company, Amec.

17 Most: (b) - fall of 55.6 per cent. Least: (c) - fall of 6.4 per cent (Sterling's index fell 7.7 per cent. The dollar has risen 1per cent against the yen).

18: Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the finance minister of Brunei.

19 Greece (-11.4 per cent in 1994, estimated at -9.5 per cent in 1995), followed by Sweden (-10.4 per cent 1994, -7.3 per cent 1993). US had -2 per cent of GDP deficit in 1994, France -6 per cent.

20 The trustees were sent a threatening letter and a phial containing an explosive substance. The letter accused the trustees of a "sell-out" and warned that the "normally passive workforce" had never resorted to force, but added "extreme measures demand extreme reprisals".

21 British Biotechnology - after one of its cancer drugs was found to stop some tumours in their tracks.

22 Netscape, a new company producing software for the Internet. It was floated at $28 a share, soared to above $70 within a day and now stands at about $130, giving it a capitalisation of more than $7bn, more than established computer groups such as Apple.

23 pounds 2 a week.

24: Sir Richard Greenbury, the Marks & Spencer chairman, who led the Confederation of British Industry's investigation into boardroom salaries.

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