2001: A Finance Odyssey

What was hot in finance 10 years ago?
CFO StaffApril 1, 2011

It remains the decade without a name, but as far as finance news goes, plenty happened between 2000 and 2010. As one way to see what has (and hasn’t) changed in the business world, test your knowledge of the way things used to be, as described 10 years ago in the pages of the April 2001 issue of CFO.

1) Our cover story described the ambitious global expansion and diversification of a European retail chain that, more recently, has boasted about its strategy of divestiture and “refocusing our portfolio” as its share price has fallen by two-thirds. That company is:
A. Royal Ahold
B. Tesco
C. Harrod’s
D. Ikea

2) We cited a Bain study that found that what percentage of senior executives surveyed believed that growth in their particular industry was in no danger of slowing?
A. 30%
B. 40%
C. 50%
D. 70%

3) In a story about the many companies that were cutting dividends, we mentioned that one company’s stock price barely reacted when it abandoned a 30-year tradition of shareholder payouts. That company was:
A. Ford Motor
B. General Mills
C. Polaroid
D. United Technologies

4) New York University accounting and finance professor Baruch Lev was quoted as saying that, “In the last 15 to 20 years, most of the value and performance of companies have come from”:
A. IT-driven productivity gains
B. Easy access to credit
C. Intangible assets
D. Deregulation

5) We reported on one specific job for which demand was outstripping supply, prompting many companies to hire recruiters in an effort to fill it. That job post was for:
A. Head of e-commerce
B. Chief accounting officer
C. Board member
D. Chief compliance officer

6) Throughout the April issue we made mention of a collection of the country’s largest accounting and auditing firms, which at the time were known as the:
A. Big Eight
B. Big Six
C. Big Five
D. Big Four

7) Although the Y2K crisis fizzled, we noted that the IT offshoring boom it inspired was likely to live on. We also noted that “the original attraction of low cost” was fading as wages were rising in which popular offshore destination?
A. Philippines
B. Canada
C. Ireland
D. India

8) Our April 2001 issue would have gone to press on or near March 16, 2001. On that date, the Dow stood at:
A. 9,823
B. 10,548
C. 12,303
D. 14,199

Answers: 1–A; 2–C; 3–C; 4–C; 5–C; 6–C; 7–C; 8–A