It's Answers' third annual Loofie Awards! Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp are joined in the studio by Matt Argersinger, Aaron Bush, and Tim Hanson to highlight their picks and pans in the investing arena.
2017 had some notable hits and misses. In this segment, Alison highlights the demise of everything from Chipotle's (NYSE:CMG) first queso recipe to the now-besmirched black turtleneck.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on April 3, 2018.
Alison Southwick: Now it's time to pause and take a somber look back at the people and things that came to an end in 2017. It's our "In Memoriam" segment.
Martin Shkreli. You'll remember him for his brave portrayal of the "oh gee Pharma Bro" who profited off increasing the price of an antimalarial drug from $13.50 up to $750, and then spent the money on things like a $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album. I know we all remember him fondly. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud related to two hedge funds he ran along with his former drug company Retrophin. He also has to forfeit $7.4 million and the Wu-Tang Clan album.
Robert Brokamp: He can't keep that, huh?
Southwick: Maybe he can. Maybe he can financially figure out a way to do it. In most of the articles he had to give up the album.
Matt Argersinger: Anyways, that needs to be shared with the world.
Southwick: I mean, come on! Really. Chipotle queso 1.0. You'll remember queso 1.0 as Chipotle's brave portrayal of melted cheese. Three months after the failed launch of queso at Chipotle, the company secretly changed the recipe. Initially described as a crime against cheese, the new version is less grainy; however, The New Yorker still described it as if someone added Kraft Mac & Cheese powder to milk and didn't let it dissolve. Have any of you guys actually tried Chipotle's queso?
Aaron Bush: I have.
Bush: I did it.
Tim Hanson: Better or worse than PotCoin?
Bush: I'd give it a solid 3.7 out of 10.
Argersinger: Out of 10?
Southwick: Are you guys surprised at how Chipotle hasn't really bounced back the way people expected it to? Or do you think it's still coming?
Bush: I think restaurants can be fixed, so it's coming. The question is just a matter of how long it will take. I think they probably moved in the right direction getting a new CEO, but it takes time.
Southwick: Next up. You'll remember the black turtleneck from it's ubiquitous, brave portrayal in many Steve Jobs features. The black turtleneck had a comeback, recently, thanks to Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos as we talked about a couple of weeks ago; only to be laid to rest once Holmes's massive fraud was uncovered. The downfall prompted The New York Times to write, "Will black turtlenecks ever be looked at in quite the same way again?" So sad.
Hanson: I'm kind of shocked that to date she's gotten off easier than Shkreli.
Argersinger: Yeah. I mean, he didn't get to keep the Wu-Tang album. I mean, she's not even going to prison.
Hanson: Well, he's going to jail for like seven years.
Argersinger: Well, I know that. She didn't have to give back an album.
Hanson: I think at the end of the day all his investors who were defrauded actually got their money back; whereas she cost people billions.
Southwick: She's not getting that back.
Argersinger: I mean, some of them made a ton of money. The ones who went into the Retrophin after the hedge fund.
Hanson: He defrauded them, but them got lucky and made up for it.
Southwick: That's true. And she's still walking around, and still pitching.
Hanson: I think maybe there are criminal charges coming. Maybe it will come after.
Southwick: Ooh, all right. Well, be patient. We'll circle back on that. You'll remember Dr. G. Raffe for his brave portrayal of a giraffe who encouraged children to not grow up by getting their parents to buy them toys. He was born in the 1950s as part of a marketing campaign for Children's Bargain Town in Washington, D.C. It wasn't until the company changed its name to Toys "R" Us that Dr. G. Raffe changed his name to Geoffrey the Giraffe. He'll live on forever in Bro's heart.
Brokamp: Oh, he will. I'm so sad about Toys "R" Us going out of business.
Southwick: Was Toys "R" Us the same mecca for you guys as it was for me growing up? Like the idea of going to Toys "R" Us was just like [gasps].
Argersinger: Oh, yeah! When I was a kid once every few months was just like the greatest day ever. Just sad.
Southwick: Now you're just going to go to Amazon Prime.
Argersinger: I guess.
Brokamp: I guess. Like really? What will kids do? The toy section of Walmart is just not the same thing.
Southwick: No, no. And finally, let's take a moment to remember everything that millennials killed which, according to headlines, includes lunch, beer, Applebee's, cereal, motorcycles, fabric softener, diamonds, football, straws, doorbells, bars of soap and so much more.
Brokamp: Bars of soap? Why did they kill bars of soap?
Southwick: Because they like loofahs? And Scrubbies.
Southwick: I think so. I don't know. You guys are more millennial than me.
Hanson: I take that back.
Argersinger: Yeah. And fabric softener? What's the alternative?
Brokamp: They like it scratchy.
Southwick: I think the headline was they just don't know what fabric softener does.
Hanson: One of those complicated naming conventions.
Southwick: Oh, why did they do that?