The 2008 Bond Vigilantes Christmas Quiz – the answers and the winners

Thank you very much for a bumper set of entries to our quiz this year.  The answers are shown below – with the spirit of Christmas in our hearts we allowed a small degree of ambiguity on a couple of the questions, but in the end the four people who got 19 out of 20 (and the only one they all got wrong was the impossible question 12) didn’t need any charity.  Their names were drawn out of the hat and prizes have been awarded as follows:

The Winner: Nicci Dugdale of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers
Second Prize: Joe Wiggins of Principal Investment
Third Prizes go to both Chris Cowell (also Myddleton Croft) and Simon Bullock (Truestone).

Your prizes will be emailed to you shortly.  The winner of the M&G staff competition was Laura Brown with a score of 17 – booze will be on its way to you.  Congratulations everybody, and thanks for the entries.

1) Reg Varney, star of On The Buses, achieved what banking “first” in 1967?

He was the first person to take money out of a cash machine, at the world’s first ATM at a branch of Barclays in Enfield.

2) Which brand’s name is derived from a phrase meaning avant-garde techniques?

TAG watches – TAG stands for Techniques Avant-Guarde.

3) Five-oh, young-`uns, Bunk.  Which city?

Baltimore – the setting for The Wire TV series.  Five-oh means police, young – `uns are the juvenile drug dealers, and Bunk is a detective.

4) What had an “e” added to it in 1967 to prevent a diplomatic incident?

Concorde.  The French insisted that the French spelling of the word was used when naming the supersonic aircraft, rather than Concord, and the UK government eventually gave in.

5) Christiano Ronaldo’s fashion brand is linked, by chance, with which (will I get into trouble for saying unfashionable?) London suburb?

Thornton Heath, Croydon.  Ronaldo’s fashion brand is CR7, the postcode for this part of Croydon.

6) What was the tallest building in the world at the time of the Wall Street Crash?

The Woolworth Building.  According to Selwyn Parker’s book The Great Crash, the Chrysler Building become taller a few days after the days which historians generally agree marks the Wall Street Crash (October 24th, October 28th and October 29th, 1929).  Some people suggested it was the Eiffel Tower – we are going with Wikipedia as the definitive source on this one, and not counting glorified telegraph poles.

7) According to M&G Retail’s Head of Institutional Sales, Neil Brown, what is the only sport that actively bans left-handed equipment (I have failed to verify this independently, but it sounds plausible)?

Neil claims the answer is hockey, where there is no such thing as a left handed stick.  Most people said polo, and apparently left-handed polo play was banned in 1975, so either answer is allowed.

8) Why did Dr. Pepper have a bad November?  What’s the worst that can happen?

Dr. Pepper promised every American a can of the vile liquid if Guns N Roses ever released the long awaited Chinese Democracy album in 2008.  The record was finally released in November.

9) Data Screws Uplifted (anag.)

Credit Default Swaps.

10) What is this thing called?

Zakumi.  It is the mascot for the World Cup in South Africa, 2010.

11) When would Jim Flaherty wear brand new footwear?

He is the Finance Minister of Canada.  It is traditional for the Finance Minister to wear new shoes when delivering the Canadian budget (although respondents report that in his most recent budget Mr. Flaherty has stopped the tradition on the grounds of austerity…).

12) What is the lowest unique positive whole number that somebody will pick to reply to this question (i.e. a number that nobody else answers this question with)?

The lowest unique number was 3.

13) Which Las Vegas band is releasing a Christmas single with Elton John this year?

The Killers.

14) Where is the QE2?

Dubai, UAE – it is becoming a floating hotel.

15) What do the following companies have in common? GE, Exxon Mobil, Johnson & Johnson, Berkshire Hathaway, Toyota.

At time of writing they are the only companies rated AAA by Moodys and S&P.  We also accepted the answer that they have been Fortune magazine’s “Most Respected Company of the Year”, although all of the contenders for the prizes got the more bond related answer in any case.

16) Following a mix up, the writer of a nature column in a newspaper is sent to cover a war in Africa.  Which novel?

Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

17) Which artist produced this work?


18) According to the Handelsblatt newspaper, Germans like ones with an “X” on them, but shun those with an “S” or a “V”.  What?

Euro bank notes – the X tells them that they were issued by the Bundesbank rather than by the central banks of Italy or Spain. Germans who fear the breakup of the Eurozone have been demanding only “X” rated banknotes from their banks.

19) Morrissey, Marr, Joyce, Rourke.  But who was the sometime fifth member of The Smiths?

Craig Gannon.  He toured with the Smiths in 1986 and played on “Panic” and “Ask” alongside Johnny Marr.

20) What did Liverpool FC attempt to copyright this year, to great protests?

They tried to copyright the Liverbird symbol, but had to back down after protests from Liverpudlians who pointed out that it belonged to the whole city.


The value of investments will fluctuate, which will cause prices to fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount you invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

Jim Leaviss

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