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by Derek Loosvelt | August 15, 2012


To prepare for any interview, it’s important to know your current events—both about the firm you’re interviewing with as well as the firm’s industry at large. With that in mind, and seeing how Wall Street recruiting season is right around the corner, we've created a tool to help those interested in investment banking jobs gauge how well they’ve been keeping up with the recent greed and hubris and other shenanigans on Wall Street this year. We call the tool The Wall Street Scandal Aptitude Test (the WSSAT). And here it is (note, the answers and scoring key are at bottom):

1. The “London Whale,” a JPMorgan trader who took a position in an index of credit default swaps that went south (to say the least), lost approximately how much money on behalf of the bank?
A. $2,000,000,000
B. $3,000,000,000
C. $5,000,000,000
D. $7,000,000,000

2. What's the nationality of the former JPMorgan trader known as the "London Whale"?
A. American
B. British
C. French
D. Spanish

3. Which of the following did JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon say in the aftermath of the London Whale controversy about the bad trade?
A. “It’s a tempest in a teapot.”
B. “In hindsight, the new strategy was flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored.”
C. “Just because we’re stupid doesn’t mean everybody else was.”
D. All of the above

4. Why did Standard Chartered Bank agree to pay a $340 million fine to the New York State Department of Financial Services?
A. It made billions of dollars worth of counterfeit Iranian currency
B. It gave inside information to Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
C. It laundered $250 billion with Iran and lied to regulators
D. All of the above

5. The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has alleged that HSBC Bank was responsible for what?
A. Aiding clients with ties to drug cartels launder money
B. Aiding clients with ties to terrorists launder money
C. A & B
D. None of the above

6. Which Barclays executive resigned after the bank admitted to manipulating interest rates that affected the borrowing costs of millions of customers throughout the world?
A. Barclays CEO Bob Diamond
B. Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius
C. Barclays COO Jerry del Missier
D. All of the above

7. Which of the following banks is NOT being investigated in connection with the interest rate scandal in the U.K. (the scandal in which Barclays admitted wrongdoing)?
A. JPMorgan Chase
D. Goldman Sachs

8. Which of the following reasons did Greg Smith give in his Times op-ed for resigning from Goldman Sachs?
A. A decline in the moral fiber at Goldman
B. Goldman employees callously talking about ripping off clients
C. Goldman managing directors referring to clients as muppets
D. All of the above

9. In which event did former Goldman Sachs VP Greg Smith win a bronze medal at the Maccabiah Games in Israel?
A. Gymnastics
B. Wrestling
C. Table Tennis
D. Synchronized Diving

10. True or False: Two weeks after resigning from Goldman Sachs in a Times op-ed, Greg Smith received a $1 million book advance to write about his time working for the bank commonly known as the “vampire squid.”

ANSWERS: (1) d, (2) c, (3) d, (4) c, (5) c, (6) d, (7) d, (8) d, (9) c, (10) false, he received a $1.5 million advance

1-4 correct:
Busted. Pay a hefty fine (half a billion). Publicly admit wrongdoing.
Slap on the wrist. Hand the Feds a couple mill. Admit no wrongdoing.
Business as usual. Prop trade away, my friend. The Volcker Rule’s for loser$.

Read More:
Does Work/Life Balance Exist on Wall Street?
19 Hardest Interview Questions On Wall Street
Facebook and Google vs. The Squid and the Whale


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