QUIZ: Only True Currency Gurus Can Answer These 10 Questions Correctly

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In one of its final client notes of 2012, Morgan Stanley’s FX team, led by Hans Redeker, put together a quiz to see who really knows their market.A few of the questions are economics-related.

Other questions test investors’ knowledge about the actual physical currencies themselves – do you know the story behind the designs? How much is in circulation? And what happened to certain currencies when they became obsolete?

Test your knowledge with the following questions (and answers).

Thanks to Morgan Stanley for allowing us to feature this quiz.

1. The Danish central bank recently introduced negative policy rates. The only other monetary authority to have done this was in:

(A) Switzerland

(B) Sweden

(C) The Ottoman Empire

(D) Japan

And the answer is...

(B) Sweden

MS FX: While negative rates are attributed to the Swiss in the 1970s, they actually taxed foreign-held CHF deposits. Sweden introduced marginal negative rates in 2009 to stimulate private spending -- unsuccessfully.

(A) Black Diamond

(B) Sitting Bull

(C) The Statue of Liberty with an Indian headdress

(D) None of the above

And the answer is...

(D) None of the above

MS FX: The figure is an amalgam of several portraits of disputed origin; however, Black Diamond (a resident of the Bronx Zoo) is the buffalo on the back of the nickel and Liberty with a headdress is the figure on the 'Indian' head penny.

3. Which had the fastest real per-capita growth since 1970?

(A) China

(B) Equatorial Guinea

(C) Korea

(D) Trinidad and Tobago

And the answer is...

(B) Equatorial Guinea

MS FX: Of the 150 countries in the Penn survey, Equatorial Guinea grew 7.64% and China 7.40%. The US was 81st behind France.

4. The only country below that fully repaid its debt to the United States after World War I was:

(A) Germany

(B) Greece

(C) Finland

(D) Italy

And the answer is...

(C) Finland

MS FX: The other three countries all restructured their debts; not coincidentally Juha (a.k.a. Seppala the Finn) came up with this question.

5. The number of coins circulating in the Euro area is:

(A) None

(B) Less than 50 billion

(C) More than 50 billion

(D) Nobody knows

And the answer is...

(C) More than 50 billion

MS FX: There are about 70 billion coins in circulation -- but this includes the ones at the bottom of your sock drawer.

6. This economist has two uncles that were Nobel economists

(A) Alan Greenspan

(B) Robert Merton

(C) Hans Redeker

(D) Larry Summers

And the answer is...

(D) Larry Summers

MS FX: Paul Samuelson was the brother of Summers' father and Ken Arrow was his mother's brother. Note that Robert Merton, also a Nobel Prize-winning economist, was the son of Robert Merton the sociologist -- who coined such phrases as 'unintended consequences,' 'self-fulfilling prophecy,' and 'role model.'

7. When Slovakia joined the Euro, they retired their paper currency by:

(A) Putting it in storage in case they changed their mind

(B) Shredding it for use as building insulation

(C) Burning it in an environmentally friendly manner

(D) Letting foreigners burn it

And the answer is...

(D) Letting foreigners burn it

MS FX: Though they may be changing their minds about the euro, the bills were used as fuel for US-owned (but Slovakia-based) steel mills.

And the answer is...

(C) The Roman numeral X (10) looks like the side view of a tool called a sawbuck.

MS FX: The sawbuck was an X-shaped type of sawhorse; some versions of the $10 bill used a Roman numeral X instead of a 10, hence the reference.

9. There are 22 official currencies denominated in dollars in use on all continents except Antarctica. The next most broadly used name for currency units is:

(A) Euro

(B) Franc

(C) Peso

(D) Pound

And the answer is...

(B) Franc

MS FX: There are 11 francs, 9 pesos, and 9 pounds; next is the dinar at 8 versions. As of this writing, there is still one euro. Note that while there is an Antarctic dollar, it is not an official currency -- ditto for the Disney dollar.

(A) Gordon Gekko

(B) John Maynard Keynes

(C) Groucho Marx

(D) Rashique Rahman

And the answer is...

(A) Gordon Gekko

MS FX: Though he is more famous for saying, 'Greed is good.'

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