Every Friday, we challenge our readers with five financial trivia questions drawn from the international/offshore world…
To see the answers, go to page 2. To suggest a question, email iieditorial
1. Concorde, the famous droop-nosed supersonic aircraft best known for flying business tycoons and celebrities back and forth between New York and London at twice the speed of sound, from 1977 until 2003, used to fly to one Caribbean destination from London on a regular basis. Which was it?
a. Antigua b. the Bahamas c. Cayman Islands d. Barbados
2. How long did Concorde’s flight from London to New York normally take?
a. 2 and a half hours b. 3 hours c. 3 and a half hours d. 4 hours
3. In 1961 a certain now-well-established financial services jurisdiction got its start as a banking and financial centre after its local lawmakers finally repealed something known as The Code of 1771, which had included an anti-usury provision that had never previously been repealed, and which limited the interest rate that could be charged for loans to 5%. This jurisdiction was:
a.) The Isle of Man b.) Jersey c.) Guernsey d.) The Cayman Islands
4. Economic theorists lately have been discussing the concept of “creative destruction”, and its relevance during the current era of global economic turmoil and change. Which economic philosopher is credited with having first coined this phrase?
a.) Milton Friedman b.) John Maynard Keynes c. Joseph Schumpeter d. ) Hyman Minsky
5. What is the nickname, in certain expat circles, for Thailand’s Bang Kwang Central Prison? Where does the nickname come from?
To see the answers to this quiz, go to page 2.
Answers to the International Investment Daily Financial Trivia Quiz:
1. (d.) Barbados (the service varied over the years, but was mainly concentrated in the winter months, typically running once a week in both directions)
2. (c. ) 3 and a half hours (compared with 7 or 8 hours for a regular, “sub-sonic” flight). The fastest-ever time for the crossing, by a passenger aircraft, was 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds, according to www.concordesst.com, a website for Concorde enthusiasts.
3. (b.) Jersey. (The man responsible for bringing about this crucial change was the then-president of the States of Jersey’s Finance and Economics Committee, Senator Cyril Le Marquand.) In 2011, Jersey marked what is now seen as a landmark event in the island’s history by formally celebrating its 50th year as a financial services jurisdiction.
4. (c.) Joseph Schumpeter (An Austrian-American economist and political scientist, Schumpeter is remembered for having come up with the idea that capitalism is a source of ‘creative destruction’, nonetheless positive in the long term.) A recent analysis of creative destruction and how it is playing out in the global marketplace now, written by Stephen Moore, manager of the Artemis US Extended Alpha Fund, may be seen on the Artemis website by clicking here.
5. Thailand’s Bang Kwang Central Prison is sometimes referred to as the Bangkok Hilton, as in, “I’d rather do things right and make less money, than end up in the Bangkok Hilton”.
The origins of this nickname are thought to come from a 1989 Australian TV mini-series that was actually called Bangkok Hilton, and was supposedly modeled, loosely, on Bang Kwang. The cast included Australian actress Nicole Kidman, who played Kat Stanton, an Australian woman searching for her father. While travelling back from London to Australia via Thailand, Stanton is tricked into carrying some luggage through Thai customs for a photographer she’d met, only for drugs to be found in the bags, resulting in her being sentenced to spend time in, of course, the “Bangkok Hilton”.
Bang Kwang Central Prison is just north of Bangkok, and is known for being harsh; it is also known for being home to many foreign prisoners, many of whom, like the Kidman character, ended up there after being found guilty of drugs offenses. International Investment is unaware of any expats who have ever served time in Bang Kwang for financial services crimes.
One long-time Bangkok expat says Bang Kwang is also known by its Thai nickname, the “Big Tiger”, for its ferocious reputation, and that the Bangkok Hilton reference came only after the airing of the Australian mini-series.
He also notes that the term “Bangkok Hilton” had clearly been inspired by the sarcastic reference to Hanoi’s Hỏa Lò Prison as the “Hanoi Hilton” by American POWs who were imprisoned there during the Vietnam War.