Want to test your business IQ? Take our quiz

Times Staff Writer

Big takeovers, big paydays, corporate crimes, ethical blunders, product breakthroughs, surprising success stories and a booming stock market -- this year yielded a bumper crop of business news.

How closely were you paying attention? Take our 2006 business quiz and find out.

1. Google Inc. acknowledged in January that it would censor its search results in what country?

A. North Korea


B. Iran

C. Russia

D. China

2. Saying that this person’s “recent conduct has not been acceptable,” Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone this year broke off Paramount Pictures’ relationship with whom?


A. Michael Richards

B. Tom Cruise

C. Snoop Dogg

D. Mel Gibson


3. This woman began 2006 as Hewlett-Packard Co.'s chairwoman but ended it facing criminal charges after it was revealed that she had ordered an investigation that eventually included gaining access to the private phone records of reporters and HP board members. What is her name?

A. Pamela Dunn

B. Patricia Fiorina

C. Patricia Dunn


D. Pamela Fiorina

4. Warren E. Buffett, the world’s second-richest person, announced in June that he would give $31 billion of his fortune to which organization?

A. The Red Cross

B. The United Way


C. The United Nations

D. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

5. Match the acquiring company with the company it announced it would buy in 2006:



A. Google Inc.

B. McClatchy Co.

C. AT&T; Inc.

D. Walt Disney Co.


E. Live Nation Inc.

F. Nestle

G. NBC Universal Inc.



a. BellSouth Corp.

b. House of Blues

c. IVillage Inc.

d. Pixar Animation Studios Inc.


e. YouTube Inc.

f. Knight Ridder Inc.

g. Jenny Craig Inc.

6. Enron Corp. founder Kenneth L. Lay was convicted of fraud and conspiracy in May, but a judge later cleared his record. Why?


A. He successfully appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

B. He cooperated with the prosecution.

C. He died.

D. The glove didn’t fit.


7. Which of these L.A. billionaires has not expressed an interest in buying Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times?

A. Eli Broad

B. Kirk Kerkorian

C. David Geffen


D. Ron Burkle

8. Which 2006 movie hauled in the most at the U.S. box office?

A. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”

B. “Cars”


C. “X-Men: The Last Stand”

D. “The Da Vinci Code”

9. This man was head of home builder KB Home until retiring in November amid a probe of inflated stock option grants. By retiring, he will receive as much as $175 million in severance pay, pension benefits and stock options. What is his name?

A. Alex Karats


B. Bruce Wayne

C. Bruce Willis

D. Bruce Karatz

10. In a record year for private equity company purchases, the biggest of all was Blackstone Group’s $36-billion deal (debt included) for what Chicago-based company?


A. Equity Office Properties Trust

B. Clear Channel Communications Inc.

C. Kinder Morgan Inc.

D. Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.


11. The new TV network named the CW was formed by the merger of what two networks?

A. The C Network and the W Network

B. CBS and WBN

C. UPN and the WB Network


D. The Cat Channel and the Wombat Channel

12. Which of these has not hit an all-time high in 2006?

A. Google’s stock price

B. The Standard & Poor’s 500


C. The price of a barrel of oil

D. The U.S. trade deficit

13. Which of these convicted corporate executives did not go to prison in 2006?

A. Andrew S. Fastow (Enron)


B. Jeffrey K. Skilling (Enron)

C. John J. Rigas (Adelphia Communications Corp.)

D. Bernard J. Ebbers (WorldCom Inc.)

14. Match the new product with the company that introduced it in 2006:



A. Zune

B. Wii

C. Core 2 Duo


D. Vectibix


a. Intel Corp.

b. Microsoft Corp.


c. Amgen Inc.

d. Nintendo Co.

15. Twelve Southern California companies went public in 2006. Which one of the following turned in the best stock market performance?

A. Basin Water Inc.


B. Douglas Emmett Inc.

C. Guidance Software Inc.

D. NetList Inc.

16. Executives at UnitedHealth Group Inc., McAfee Inc., CNet Networks Inc. and Monster Worldwide Inc. all quit amid investigations into what?


A. Insider trading

B. Bribery

C. Pretexting

D. Backdating of stock options


17. Which U.S. company, facing falling sales and tougher foreign competition, announced in 2006 that 38,000 workers would be let go through buyouts and early retirement?

A. Ford Motor Co.

B. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

C. Exxon Mobil Corp.


D. Microsoft Corp.

18. This Nobel-winning economist, a champion of free-market economics who influenced Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, died Nov. 16 at age 94. What was his name?

A. Thomas Friedman

B. Milton Bradley


C. John Kenneth Galbraith

D. Milton Friedman

19. In March, Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle helped the FBI in a sting that resulted in the arrest of writer Jared Paul Stern, who had allegedly tried to extort money from Burkle to keep his name out of the gossip columns. What paper did Stern write for?

A. New York Times


B. New York Post

C. New York Daily News

D. Newsday

20. Legislation passed in September will raise California’s hourly minimum wage to what amount Jan. 1?


A. $6.50

B. $7.00

C. $7.50

D. $8.00




The answers

1. D


2. B

3. C

4. D

5. A -- e, B -- f, C -- a, D -- d, E -- b,


F -- g, G -- c

6. C (Judge Sim Lake erased Lay’s conviction, ruling that Lay didn’t get a chance to appeal.)

7. B

8. A


9. D

10. A

11. C

12. B


13. C (Rigas was sentenced to 15 years in prison but is free pending appeal.)

14. A -- b, B -- d, C -- a, D -- c

15. D (Shares of Irvine computer memory maker NetList rose 39.3% this year.)

16. D


17. A

18. D

19. B

20. C (The minimum wage will go up again, to $8, on Jan. 1, 2008.)



16-20 correct: A job with a private equity firm is in your future.

11-15: Not bad, but you better stick to index funds.

6-10: Don’t quit your day job.


5 or fewer: A ventriloquist is looking for you.