Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WQ III:8 -- Let Us Now Praise Defunct Corporations


The Wednesday Quiz -- Season III -- Quiz 8

Now Let Us Praise Defunct Corporations

The Wednesday Quiz is a "closed-book" test of knowledge and intuition; please do not look up answers, ask others for help, or answer as a team.

Questions about the rules and the ~Fabulous Prizes~ are answered here.

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Into the heady world of finance and industry this week, as we remember ten corporate giants that had what it takes to get ahead in business -- and then didn't.

For each capsule description, name that company!
1. Easily the largest oil company in the world, it was broken up into a number of smaller companies -- including, nowadays, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips -- after the Supreme Court found it guilty of antitrust violations in 1911.

2. A major automobile manufacturer based in South Bend, Indiana, it went out of business in 1967.

3. Based in New York, it was one of the leading and most prestigious airlines in the world from the 1930s until shortly before its collapse in 1991.

4. The Sperry and Hutchinson company, a remnant of which technically still exists, ran an extremely popular program that, by some estimates, 80% of American households were participating in during the 1960s. The popularity of the program plunged after the 1970s. What, in two words, was the Sperry and Hutchinson product?

5. Famous for its lunch counters, this discount retail giant was the largest department store chain in the world as late as 1979. It went out of business in 1997, although its corporate sucessor still operates The Foot Locker chain of shoe stores.

6. One of the most prominent of many flash-in-the-pan internet-based companies of the late 1990s, this pet food and supply company raised $82.5 million dollers in a February 2000 stock offering before entering bankruptcy in November, um, 2000.

7. An energy and natural resources company based in Houston, Texas, sustained largely by a corporate culture of fraud, corruption, and predation, it went out of business in 2001.

8. A Chicago-based catalog merchandise and department store chain, at one time a leading U.S. retailer and the principal competitor to Sears, Roebuck and Co. It closed its catalog business in 1985, and closed its last store in 2001.

9. A New York-based investment bank and brokerage, it became well known to the general public after its initially very profitable trade in securitizing high-risk mortgages became suddenly very unprofitable. It collapsed and was essentially given to a competitor, JP Morgan Chase, in 2008.

10. A Richmond, Virginia company, it was one of the largest electronics retailers in the United States right up to its bankruptcy in 2008 and subsequent dismantling in 2009.
Submit your answers in the comments!

17 comments:

Elaine said...

1. The Standard Oil Company
2. Studebaker. Originally wanted Stutz (Bearcat) but the Sixties say no. Could be Hudson. Or Hupmobile. Will stick w/ 1st answer.
3. Eastern
4. TupperWare
5. Woolworth
6. 'dollers?' Tsk. And I have no clue on the company.
7. Enron
8. Montgomery Ward. Still miss good ole Monkey Ward
9. Lehman Brothers
10. Circuit City

La Gringissima said...

1. Standard Oil
2. Packard
3. Eastern
4. green stamps
5. Woolworth's
6. PetCrap.com
7. Enron
8. Montgomery Ward
9. i forget
10. Circuit City

Phineas said...

1. Standard Oil
2. Studebaker
3. Pan Am
4. Green Stamps
5. Woolworth's
6. pets.com
7. Enron
8. Montgomery Ward
9. Bear Stearns
10. Circuit City

The Calico Cat said...

I officially miss collecting S&H Green Stamps. Officially! (If I found a book in one of those ephemera shows - you know the kind that sell boring post cards, I would buy one!)

Cartophiliac said...

1. Standard
2. Packard
3. Pan Am
4. Green Stamps
5. S.S. Kresge
6. Pets.com
7. Enron
8. Montgomery Ward
9. Bear Sterns
10. Circuit City

Ben said...

1. Standard Oil
2. Studebaker
3. Pan Am
4. Pet Rocks
5. Woolworths
6. Pets.com (I have no idea)
7. Enron
8. Montgomery Ward
9. Morgan Stanley?
10. Circuit City

UnwiseOwl said...

I think I'll play the distant geography card, here. In Australia, Woolworths still exists (with 35% of the market share in supermarkets, and close to that in fuel stations), there's only ever been two brands of car (Ford and GM), our biggest Airline was Anset, until it did a PanAm on us, too...Good lukc with the quiz, guys.

cecil said...

1. Standard Oil
2. Studebaker
3. Pan Am
4. Green stamps
5. Woolworths
6. Pet.com
7. Enron
8. Monkey Wards
9. Lehman Bros.
10. Circuit City

Morgan said...

10 is Circuit City.
9 is Fannie Mae.

I actually didn't know 9, I'm guessing.

mrs.5000 said...

I know it's Thursday, but hopefully there's still time to embarrass myself with this allegedly easy quiz.

1 Standard Oil
2 Oldsmobile
3 Pan Am
4 Green Stamps! Fond childhood memories for me, pasting them into the little books with a sponge in a bowl of water.
5 Woolworth's
6 um, E-Kibble
7 Enron
8 Spiegel's
9 AIG
10 Circuit City

Aviatrix said...

1. Imperial Oil - funny how "Imperial" in context is really just another word for "British."
2. Packard - but pretty sure it's not a Hewlitt-Packard
3. Trans World Airlines - They died for a very long time, but I may be a decade off.
4. hula hoop - my logic: Sperry makes autopilots, autopilots are based on spinning gyroscopes. Hula hoops spin and were popular in some post-war decade.
5. Woolworths - "Woolworths lunch counter" sounds right.
6. pets.com
7. Enron? - I thought they were more about hedging.
8. L.L.Bean - probably wishful thinking, but they do have catalogues
9. AIG - so many possible guesses
10. Radio Shack - but maybe they still exist in the US, but they have a different owner. Or something.

SnowGirl said...

Ok, I'll try...
1. Standard Oil
2. El Camino...haha
3. Pan Am
4. Dang, don't know, everything I can think of that a household would participate in still exists...hmmm
5. Woolworths
6. Pets.com?
7. Enron
8. Um,no clue
9. Bear Stearns
10. Circuit City

Michael5000 said...

Oh, right, answers:

1. Standard Oil
2. Studebaker. Half marks for Packard, a competitor that Studebaker had acquired on the way down.
3. Pan Am
4. Green Stamps!
5. Woolworth. The Australian Woolworths, oddly enough, is no relation.
6. pets.com
7. Enron. They did plenty of hedging, too. They were essentially a pirate ship in a skyscraper, albeit with many of the rank-and-file employees snowed into thinking they were running a legitimate enterprise.
8. Montgomery Ward
9. Bear Stearns -- and how comforting that, despite the damage it did to the world financial system on the way down, that system has proven resiliant enough so that the name does not rest like ashes on the tips of our collective tongues.
10. Circuit City

Michael5000 said...

That makes Phineas our Master of Business Administration, with a perfect score; Cecil a BS in Business, as it were, with 90 points, and Cartophiliac a promising Business student with 85.


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Michael5000 said...

Making our top ten, with four Quizzes left in the season:

1. Mrs.5000 609.17
2. Unwise Owl 567
3. la gringissima 519.33
4. DrSchnell 464.5
5. Elizabeth 453.33
6. Cartophiliac 446.83
7. Phineas 432.5
8. Elaine 396.67
9. Aviatrix 393
10. Ben 387.99

...and nichim only a pittance out in 11th.

Remember, only the eight best scores count! Everybody still has plenty of room to move, although Mrs.5000 will already start to have a tough time putting more points on the board.

Elaine said...

No way this can be right. Most of the quizzes I only got maybe 2 right. Or is this a truly pitiful commentary on the state of the others' memories and fund of trivia?

I don't think I'm a threat, let's put it that way. Rest easy, Mrs. 5000.

Aviatrix said...

Yay, I'm number nine!

Circuit City isn't out of business, though. They're the ones that that took over the defunct Radio Shacks. They're now "The Source, by Circuit City."