CAT 2020 Question Paper | VARC Slot 3

CAT Previous Year Paper | CAT VARC Questions | Question 14

This is a slightly difficult passage on the Economic Crisis that appeared in CAT 2020 Slot 3. This is one of those passages where the passage seems to be attractive but appears to be tricky in both understanding and solving the questions. This passage had 5 questions out of which most of them are challenging and really tests your ability of comprehension. Check out Bharath's reading list and get access to loads of hand picked, curated articles to read, to help your CAT Preparation.

The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

I’ve been following the economic crisis for more than two years now. I began working on the subject as part of the background to a novel, and soon realized that I had stumbled across the most interesting story I’ve ever found. While I was beginning to work on it, the British bank Northern Rock blew up, and it became clear that, as I wrote at the time, “If our laws are not extended to control the new kinds of super-powerful, super-complex, and potentially super-risky investment vehicles, they will one day cause a financial disaster of global-systemic proportions.” . . . I was both right and too late, because all the groundwork for the crisis had already been done—though the sluggishness of the world’s governments, in not preparing for the great unraveling of autumn 2008, was then and still is stupefying. But this is the first reason why I wrote this book: because what’s happened is extraordinarily interesting. It is an absolutely amazing story, full of human interest and drama, one whose byways of mathematics, economics, and psychology are both central to the story of the last decades and mysteriously unknown to the general public. We have heard a lot about “the two cultures” of science and the arts—we heard a particularly large amount about it in 2009, because it was the fiftieth anniversary of the speech during which C. P. Snow first used the phrase. But I’m not sure the idea of a huge gap between science and the arts is as true as it was half a century ago—it’s certainly true, for instance, that a general reader who wants to pick up an education in the fundamentals of science will find it easier than ever before. It seems to me that there is a much bigger gap between the world of finance and that of the general public and that there is a need to narrow that gap, if the financial industry is not to be a kind of priesthood, administering to its own mysteries and feared and resented by the rest of us. Many bright, literate people have no idea about all sorts of economic basics, of a type that financial insiders take as elementary facts of how the world works. I am an outsider to finance and economics, and my hope is that I can talk across that gulf.

My need to understand is the same as yours, whoever you are. That’s one of the strangest ironies of this story: after decades in which the ideology of the Western world was personally and economically individualistic, we’ve suddenly been hit by a crisis which shows in the starkest terms that whether we like it or not—and there are large parts of it that you would have to be crazy to like—we’re all in this together. The aftermath of the crisis is going to dominate the economics and politics of our societies for at least a decade to come and perhaps longer.

Question 14 : Which one of the following, if false, could be seen as supporting the author’s claims?

  1. The global economic crisis lasted for more than two years. 
  2. The huge gap between science and the arts has steadily narrowed over time.
  3. The economic crisis was not a failure of collective action to rectify economic problems.
  4. Most people are yet to gain any real understanding of the workings of the financial world.

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Explanatory Answer

Trickily worded question. The option that, if false, supports the author's claims is the one that, if true, does not support the author's claims.

From the first line of the passage, we know that the author has been following the economic crisis for more than two years. The author clearly states that he is "not sure the idea of a huge gap between science and the arts is as true as it was half a century ago". Also, according to the author, "many bright, literate people have no idea about all sorts of economic basics". So, options A, B and D, if true, support the author's claims.

On the other hand, the author states that the crisis was due to "the sluggishness of the world’s governments" not preparing for the great unraveling of autumn 2008 . The statement that the economic crisis was not a failure of collective action to rectify economic problems goes against the author's view. So, option C, if true, does not support the author's claims.


The question is "Which one of the following, if false, could be seen as supporting the author’s claims?"

Hence, the answer is, "The economic crisis was not a failure of collective action to rectify economic problems."

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