What’s Your Financial IQ?

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When the financial crisis hit in September 2008, Main Street was given a crash course in Wall Street jargon. From credit default swaps to commercial paper to collateralized debt obligation, the terminology almost seemed designed to obscure and confuse. Take this quiz to find out how much you really know about the world — and the words — of Wall Street.

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  • Anonymous

    I scored 100 percent on this financial IQ test, so why do I feel like such a dummy on money?

  • Kshipp_13

    Is there a way to save safely without banks?

    Why do the same jokers get the chance to work after they clearly are part of the problem.

  • Tom

    Keeping us dumb, compliant, and apathetic makes them rich, increases income and power disparity, and endangers democracy.

  • Tom

    I prefer my local credit union. They treat me as a valued customer and my few dollars aren’t in BOA or one of the other TBTF institutions.

  • geebee

    It’s a wonder I’m not broke — I failed the quiz!

  • Anonymous

    I only missed the one about no-doc and low-doc loans.
    I assumed they are now illegal, but apparently not.
    Maybe they  are no longer guaranteed by the government, we hope.

    This quiz was a really terrific idea and Moyers & Company should do similar 
    exams again. Interactivity is usually a good thing. And I’m not just saying that because I got a good grade. I should be ashamed as a former Morgan Stanley flak for having missed even one. Heck, I’m not ashamed though because I learned something and was made curious.

  • Anonymous

    You beat me so why ain’t you rich? (It could be a classism thing.)
    As a well-informed viewer you should be posting more and sharing your smarts with the rest of us. I’ll be looking for your moniker.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve got lotsa smarts; it’s the shrewds I’m missing.

  • Norman Peel

    Mr Moyer  I am a Canuck who respects you.  A Constitutinal amendment to limit the bully power of big corporations will not happen before the next presidential election.  Should some candidate call for $100 per person to build her or his own massive support base?  If so, who should that person be?

  • Cinny

    As a real estate broker I can tell you I am not aware of anyone offering low or no doc loans at this time.  But the guidelines are constantly changing.  And there has been no real reform. 
    BTW, I didn’t know this until recently but behind the scenes the no doc loans were being called ninja loans – for no income, no job, no assets.  Wasn’t true of all borrowers, but they knew it was true of some and still made the loan.  

  • Geoffb

    You can save at a bank where deposits are guaranteed by the FDIC up to $250,000, I think. The same is true of saving at a credit union, though the deposits in a credit union are insured by the National Credit Union equivalent of the FDIC.  Credit unions are member-owned and chartered by both the federal and state governments. Try one, you will love being an owner/member instead of a customer. Most credit unions can lend for small business, too, as well as homes, cars, boats, etc.

  • Dan K

    I suggest that future quizzes should have summaries of the answers in addition to the correct answer.  This was very informative, though it proved to me I am uninformed.

  • Kindle

    If people voted less with less concern for theimselves and being on the winning side and with more concern for all people and making decisions good for the whole country we’d be in better shape. What will cause Americans to vote with more awareness?

  • Jhc0239

    Would have been nice to know the correct answers for the ones I missed

  • pmh

    On my test, the correct answers appear in bright red,  beneath the bright red “X” indicating the 2 I got wrong.  (When did unsecured debt become “commercial paper,” and shame on Congress if no-doc home loans are truly “legal.”)

  • pmh

    Historical perspective, i.e., a liberal arts education - the kind that develops the critical thinking skills required to see through blankets of lies and distortion ( i.e., Fox News) – and a national willingness to finally recognize the insidious destruction of our nation’s fabric, the plundering of the vast riches of our national treasury for what it is – not the work of a loyal, political “opposition” (nothing about their economic or moral  principles make legitimate scientific or common sense) – but only the efforts of a highly-organized, well-funded criminal mob.

  • Tubadad

    The truth is “What really happened”. Thanks for giving me the truth. The stewards of Capitalism in Congress and the financial industry  have been corrupted by greed. I guess the stewards of Communism were corrupted by power. Is Capitalism the next to go? America is becoming like South America with mainly the poor and  underpriviledged who have lost hope and a few super-wealthy at the top running the place for their own benefit.

    As I approach my retirement I will be “comfortable” but looking over my shoulder! I lost all gains from 10 years of modest and conservative 401k  investments, at least 20% of my home’s value and support 2 grown children in one fashion or another who can’t make it alone  in spite of their college degrees.  Multiple me by millions of people and you know where the money came from for the excesses that have harmed our country more than Al-Kaida could ever do!

  • Marylhere

    Didn’t study obviously…got about the same grade as high school…a “C”….oh well

  • Ann

    I am amazed to have a 100% score on your quiz. I have tried to educate myself, but still feel bamboozled by all the language used by the banks — both commercial and investment. The clear explanations on your show is the reason I well. I still barely understand a credit default swap. Maybe you will enlighten us on more bank-speak in the future.

  • BigGov=Tyranny

    msnbc,nbc,cbs,abc are the worst offenders. Fox news ratings are the highest because they spin the news the least. What happened to the media? Big business is the largest mob in world it has bought the government. There is only an illusion of right and left. Why has nothing changed in the last three years?

  • pmh

    Fox News’ ratings are “highest” for the same reason hoards of
    Americans eat at Piccadilly:  it serves
    up unsurprising fare that caters to dull pallets and even duller minds.  People who think are off engaging in other
    stimulating activities, eating some other enlightening fare.

    Please don’t attempt to suggest equivalency among
    broadcasters; Fox News’ distortions and lies are nothing but deliberate treason.
    (One of these days America will wake up to discover we’ve become the slaves of someone
    exploiting our precious environment of “freedom” – i.e., exercising their “right”
    to strip us of ours.)

    Please don’t attempt to suggest equivalency among
    broadcasters; Fox News’ distortions and lies are nothing but deliberate treason.

    (One of these days America will wake up to discover we’ve become the slaves of someone
    exploiting our precious environment of “freedom” – i.e., exercising their “right”
    to strip us of ours.)

  • BigGov=Tyranny

    My father taught me to never argue with idiots. They will wear you down and beat you with experience. Why are you fixated on fox? Do you think you get the facts from any news source? The reason fox’s ratings are the highest is because they give less spin and more facts than there competition. I did not suggest equivalency among broadcasters. Only the facts! Wake up pmh we are all slaves to big government and big business unless you are part of the elite. Free market capitalism is the best economic system but it has not been truly free for decades!