The retirement money is almost certainly gone or never existed. Nothing that happens is going to make it reappear. New laws that require transparency and limit the power of the banking industry are the only way to prevent misuse of retirement funds.
Like Hostess, the main thing Creative Memories has of value is its brand name. Presumably, another company would acquire the name, perhaps at a bargain basement price.
The Creative Memories brand name is associated with high-quality photosafe products; yet the current company is having difficulty meeting those requirements. Different ownership with additional resources may be better able to meet these needs and may, in fact, be able to develop the brand’s full potential. The Creative Memories strap-hinge album would certainly continue, since it is the core of the product line.
The new owners of the Creative Memories brand might or might not continue with direct sales, but there are plenty of direct sales options for people interested in the career opportunity. Several direct sales companies even offer photo related businesses, including MemoryWorks, Close To My Heart, Heritage Makers, and Send Out Cards.
Digital technology is key for the future. I have no basis for saying so, but I strongly suspect that Panstoria would reintroduce Artisan and take over the software business. They currently have no customers other than Creative Memories, and they will need revenue. Under this scenario, Panstoria would also probably develop their own source for digital products to generate additional revenue.
Albums, pages, and software are now available. Problem solved.