Quiz on the American Financial Sector

21 09 2008




Which investment bank was labeled as “Masters of the Universe” in the famous Tom Wolfe novel The Bonfire of the Vanities? 




Lehman Brothers




Before joining the Bush administration as the Treasury Secretary, which investment bank did Paulson work for?




Goldman Sachs




Fortune magazine wrote: He will probably go down in the annals of finance as the Nero of the credit crisis. Instead of fiddling while Bear Stearns burned, his detractors say he was golfing a little too regularly at the Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, N.J., and playing championship-level bridge in Nashville, San Francisco, and Detroit. Who are we talking about?




Jimmy Cayne, the CEO of Bear Stearns




In 1844, Henry Lehman, a German-Jew came to Montgomery Alabama. His brothers Ennamnuel and Meyer joined him in 1850. They together started a business under the name of Lehman Brothers. Which was their first business?




General Store. Later they moved to cotton trading and that’s where they made their  intial fortune.




Which famous English Premier League football team is sponsored by AIG?




Manchester United




By what names are Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and Federal National Mortgage Association are popularly known as?




Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae respectively




Lehman Brothers’ trading office was located in the World Trade centre. Immediately, after the 9/11 incident the firm resumed its trading operations in a unique way. Describe it.




The firm booked al the rooms of Sheraton Hotel, New York. Beds were converted into desks and trading resumed immediately.


Q8 :


In 1990, one leading Wall Street investment banks, fifth in size at that time, went bankrupt courtesy its illegal activity in junk bonds, led by the rogue trader Michael Milken. Name the firm.




Drexel Burnham Lambert




American International Group (AIG) started in 1919 as an insurance agency in Shanghai. Its founder, Cornelius Vander Starr was the first westerner to sell insurance to the Chinese. After a successful business in Asia, it went to America only in 1962. Under its legendary CEO, Hank Greenberg, it became the largest insurance company in USA and third in the world. It owns the largest aircraft leasing company in the world having a fleet of over 600 Boeings and Airbuses. AIG’s current Vice- Chairman served as the  US ambassador to India in the past. Name him.




Frank G. Wisner




Merrill Lynch was started by two friends in New York in 1914. It started operations as a brokerage firm and went on to become the world’s largest securities firm on the strength of its brokerage network. It recently got acquired by Bank of America. One lesser known fact is that the owners of this firm took up a small grocery store and built it into the third largest grocery chain. Name the chain.






– G. Mohan.




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