Tag Archives: CNBC Videos

Culinary: Why Wagyu And Nobu Sushi Costs So Much

Would you pay hundreds of dollars for the best cut of steak? What about a cup of coffee or a bottle of wine? From steak to caviar, CNBC Make It breaks down whether luxury foods are worth their high prices.

00:00​ — Intro

01:01​ — Wagyu Steak – This is the best Kobe steak ever imported to the United States. It costs $450 for 13 ounces and if it was sold in a restaurant it would cost $900. That’s about $90 a bite. That’s because It’s an A5 Kobe steak with a BMS of 12. In the Japanese beef rating system BMS stands for Beef Marble Score. The BMS scale ranges from 3 to 12, with 3 being a normal amount marbling, think what in the butcher shop at your high-end grocery store. The highest rating is 12. Steaks that reach that level are almost white with fat. Very, very few cuts of meat reach a BMS of 12. Over the last 10 years, just five BMS 12 beef loin sets have been imported into the U.S.

05:27​ — Nobu Sushi – The omakase menu option at chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s namesake sushi restaurants runs nearly $200 per head. With locations in Beverly Hills, Aspen, and NYC, his restaurants count celebs like Justin Bieber and the Kardashian-Jenner clan. That’s expensive, but it’s by no means the most expensive sushi in the world, let alone New York. We set out to answer whether Nobu is worth the price and how does the quality of Chef Nobu’s menu compare to an average New York City sushi restaurant?

11:59​ — Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – It seems like pricy artisanal ice cream is everywhere these days. Once limited to brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs, the premium ice cream freezer at the grocery store is crowded with ice cream that’s handmade and includes top dollar ingredients. While brands like Halo Top, Ample Hills, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are for sale in a larger number of stores, the price can result in sticker shock. A pint of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream retails for $12 a pint. Here’s why pints have sky-rocked in price.

17:48​ — Coffee – Personal finance experts like Ramit Sethi and Suze Orman are split on whether buying coffee is a waste of money, but what about paying $100 for a cup? Elida Geisha Natural 1029 is currently the most expensive coffee in the world at $1,029 per pound. Is it worth the money?

26:12​ — White Truffles – There is something undeniably intoxicating about the smell of truffles. In fact, that potent smell is a major part of why truffles are so expensive. In 2019, someone paid over $130,000 for just over two pounds of white truffles. Interestingly enough, there’s a scientific explanation behind the intense reactions to the scent.

Politics: The Corporate Backlash To Georgia’s New Voting Law (CNBC)

Republican state legislators across the country began to formulate new voting laws in response to the tumultuous 2020 presidential election in State Houses across the country. In Georgia, the voting law known as SB 202 has become mired in controversy, as opponents of the law claim it will further voter suppression, and supporters of the new law argue that it will bring back confidence in elections.

Internet Service: Spacex’s ‘Starlink’ Explained (Video)

SpaceX’s broadband satellite internet, Starlink, is still in beta, but already has over 10,000 customers. The fledgling service is expected to be a cash cow for SpaceX, bringing in as much as $30 billion a year — more than 10 times the annual revenue of its existing rocket business. This revenue will be used to fuel Elon Musk’s ultimate goal of building a colony on Mars. Eventually, Starlink may even keep us connected on the Red Planet.

Video timeline: 00:00​ – Introduction 02:24​ – Understanding Starlink 07:15​ – SpaceX’s golden ticket 10:05​ – Challenges 16:12​ – Future of Starlink

Online Shopping: ‘Digital Coupon Codes’ – Making Curators Millions (Video)

Promo code sites have become big business, with digital coupons surpassing paper for the first time in 2020. Major deal sites make millions based almost entirely on commissions from each sale. They don’t sell shopper data and it’s not a scam. In fact, big companies like PayPal and Rakuten are buying up deal sites for billions.

From Honey to Slickdeals, Rakuten Rewards to Brad’s Deals, CNBC asked the major sites what it takes to find deals that are real and why the business model works. With the huge boost in online shopping during the pandemic, deal-finding sites have become a major business. In 2020, Inmar Intelligence found that digital coupons surpassed printed coupons for the first time ever. Also in recent years, behemoths like Goldman Sachs and PayPal have paid hundreds of millions – or even billions – for sites like Slickdeals and Honey that automatically curate coupon codes or offer shoppers cash back for making purchases through their sites.

Even banks like Capital One are getting into the game. The business model is not a scam. All major deal sites say they don’t sell shopper data. Instead, each sale generates a commission for the deal site and for the middleman known as the affiliate marketer – a company that connects the vast world of retailers with deal sites. With nearly 2,000 businesses in the daily deal site space, it’s a crowded industry filled with legitimate businesses as well as plenty of sites that are riddled with ads and expired coupon codes. That’s because regardless of whether a coupon code works, the site that provided the code will get commission for that sale. When the deals are legitimate, however, it can mean big money for shoppers, retailers, and the deal sites.

From Honey to Slickdeals, Rakuten Rewards to Brad’s Deals, CNBC asked the major deal sites, and shoppers, what it takes to find deals that are real and why the business model works. Watch the video to learn how saving consumers’ money makes big bucks for companies in the vast world of online deal hunting.

Outdoor Recreation: Why ‘Polaris’ Is Going Electric

Polaris Inc. is a dominant player in the off-road vehicle market, selling top-of-the-line ATV’s, snowmobiles, and utility vehicles, among others. Unlike many other companies, Polaris saw its revenue increase in 2020 thanks to an unexpected boom in powersports and increased interest in outdoor activities. While it rides this high, however, some doubt how long it can last. In the past year, Polaris has begun expanding its electric vehicle line-up, hoping to gain some further momentum from the rapidly-growing market. However, some analysts are skeptical of the company’s ability to push into the electric space, which may be challenging given consumer hesitation regarding comparative performance, as well as fierce competition from other leading brands.

Analysis: The Rise Of ‘Robo-Advisors’ To Manage Personal Investments

Robo-advisors have had a meteoric rise in popularity since their debut in 2008 thanks to the support from millennials and Gen Z. Today, Robo-advisors manage $460 billion, with some analysts predicting it will become a $1.2 trillion industry by 2024. Watch the video to find out why some investors believe it will never replace traditional human financial.

Since their debut in 2008, robo-advisors have had a meteoric rise in popularity. In 2020, they managed $460 billion, a 30% increase compared with 2019. Some analysts predict robo-advising will become a $1.2 trillion industry by 2024. “Investors historically have had two options when it comes to managing their investments. They could do it themselves through something like an online broker or you can work with a financial advisor,” explained Brian Concannon, head of Digital Advisor at Vanguard.

“Now, with the advent of robo-advisors, there’s a third option, and that’s to merge the benefits of professional money management and advice with the convenience of an all-digital application.” Robo-advisors’ sudden rise to prominence was made possible due to massive interest and support from millennials and Gen Z. According to a recent survey by Vanguard, millennials were twice as likely as young baby boomers to consider using a robo-advisor for investments.

“I believe that there are things that technology or algorithms can do better than humans can,” said Taylor Crane, a robo-advisor customer. “And I have no problem trusting a software to do that.” Skeptics do not expect robo-advisors to replace human advisors entirely in the near future. “Clearly, there’s always going to be a human element that’s missing,” said Jason Snipe, chief investment officer at Odyssey Capital Advisors. “My problem always will be the emotional response. Take a situation like last year when we’re going through Covid-19 and markets are moving a lot, dramatically. …

You can’t talk to the technology, right?” To combat this, many robo-advisor companies including Betterment and Vanguard began providing the option of hybrid services that combine both human and digital advice. “[Some] investors we see crave validation from a financial advisor,” said Concannon. “So for those investors, being able to pick up the phone and have a video conference with a financial advisor, have a discussion about their needs and wants goes an incredibly long way to providing them the peace of mind that they so desperately need.”

Time is on the side of the robo-advisory industry as the technology continues to improve and the younger generations accrue more wealth. “I think some combination of the two probably is where we are headed for in the future,” said Snipe. “I think the robo space has room to grow. I think it will obviously modify and change and become even more sophisticated.”

Analysis: Recycling ‘End-Of-Life EV Batteries’ (CNBC)

Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere — in phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and increasingly cars. Demand for lithium-ion batteries has risen sharply in the past five years and is expected to grow from a $44.2 billion market in 2020 to a $94.4 billion market by 2025, mostly due to the boom in electric cars.

And a shortage of lithium-ion batteries is looming in the U.S. Former Tesla CTO and Elon Musk’s right-hand man, JB Straubel, started Redwood Materials in 2017 to help address the need for more raw materials and to solve the problem of e-waste. The company recycles end-of-life batteries and then supplies battery makers and auto companies with materials in short supply as EV production surges around the world. Straubel gave CNBC an inside look at its first recycling facility in Carson City, Nevada. Watch the video to learn why battery recycling will be an essential part in making EV production more sustainable.

Healthcare: The Costs Of ‘Long-Covid’ Treatment

Covid-19 is a particularly vicious disease. While a significant number of people remain asymptomatic, other patients could go on to develop what researchers are calling post-Covid-19 syndrome. Americans suffering from the condition are running into financial problems due to the inconsistent nature of the U.S. health-care system. CNBC spoke with three people about their experience battling Covid and paying for their treatment. Watch the video above to learn how coronavirus treatment costs add up long after patients leave the hospital.

Video timeline: 0:00​ – Introduction 1:40​ – What the data says 3:28​ – In for the long haul 7:40​ – Government assistance 9:12​ – What’s next?

Analysis: The Electric Vehicle Battery Shortage

U.S. automakers are finally making bold commitments to electrify their fleets, but in the short-term, there may not be enough lithium-ion batteries to go around. While China dominates the battery manufacturing supply chain, and Europe is working to catch up, the U.S. still lags far behind.

As batteries become a matter of energy independence and national security, here’s what the U.S. can do to catch up. As automakers continue to grapple with a semiconductor shortage, some experts say the next supply chain crisis for the U.S. could involve lithium-ion batteries. As companies like GM, Ford and a slew of start-ups are ramping up their electric vehicle ambitions, current battery production in the U.S. will not be able to keep up with demand.

Analysis: Why Mercedes-Benz Is No Longer An ‘Aspirational Brand’

Mercedes-Benz is perhaps the biggest name in luxury cars globally, and for countless buyers around the world, it is a car brand to aspire to own. The German automaker has a reputation for superb build quality, excellent engineering, and the bragging rights that its founder Carl Benz invented the first production automobile.

Today, Mercedes-Benz faces a new class of challenges as Tesla has become the aspirational brand for younger consumers. There is a slew of other EV hopefuls vying for the next generation’s aspirational vehicle’s mantle. Automakers have had to sink billions into new technologies and contend with a new crop of competitors in the critical Chinese market and around the world.