Funny Money: Visa Raises the Bar

The credit card company is targeting people of certain means.
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Editor's Note: Welcome to "Funny Money," a feature written by New York-based comedian Jeff Kreisler. Lest there be any confusion, please note that this column is a work of satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy the weekend.

The financial media had plenty to busy itself with this week, so it's no wonder they missed this gem from Visa. The credit-card company launched a new ad campaign targeting high-end spenders.

"Visa: It's everywhere you want to be, and we don't allow in those people."

Elsewhere in media news,

Viacom's

MTV Networks cut about 250 jobs, including the guy responsible for squeezing out SpongeBob, dashing my hopes for "Funny Money" airing on MTV2.

Still lots of fuss over Super Bowl ads. As a Patriots fan, let me just say, "What Super Bowl?"

The Tribune Company

sold off the Spanish language

Hoy New York

this week, and Lou Dobbs probably used it as an excuse for an immigration forum at the Blowhard Castle of Talky-Mc-Talk-a-Lot Land.

New York Times

headline: "Bush's Economic Advisers Call for Lower Taxes and Freer Trade." Entire text of accompanying story: "Duh."

Air America Radio is set to auction off some assets. I bid 2 million Frankens!

"Visa: It's better than you."

Richard Branson is offering $25 million to anyone who can slow down global warming. Idea: Don't let eccentric billionaires blow their hot air into the atmosphere.

Now where's my money?

The general managers of

Yahoo!

Music resigned, citing the Dixie Chicks' "triumphant vindication at the Grammys" as evidence that there was no more work to be done.

Commercial radio stations have begun showing online video of their broadcasts. Memo to the Buggles: Video didn't just kill the radio star, it also brought him back from the dead. Just like in

Thriller

.

After cutting workforce, it's a new, trimmer Chrysler. (Why yes, I have been working out.) Seriously, if Chrysler wants to rebound, why not take a couple billion and sponsor a comic with the same (sounding) last name?

The owner of the Pax family TV network is reportedly looking to buy programming including violent martial arts shows because they'll make millions. Hey, it's for family. Baby needs a new pair of shoes ... and a summer home.

Take-Two Interactive's

Ryan Bryant cut a deal with authorities investigating the company. Then he ran over a hooker in a stolen SUV.

"Visa: Just give us the money already!"

M&A Mania

The

Four Seasons

hotel chain was purchased by a group of private investors. The group will sell off autumn to pay dividends, combine spring and summer into one operational season, then flip the whole thing back in an overhyped IPO.

The Blackstone Group purchased Pinnacle Food Group and is reportedly interested in purchasing the Freedom Tower. Cake mixes, frozen dinners, Vlasic pickles and freedom? Blackstone! Will your villainous-sounding name stop at nothing?

Tenaris

acquired

Hydril

during an anime battle for the heart of a teenage Japanese girl.

Applebee's

is considering selling itself again. It's already sold itself to the debilitating overseers of homogenization and blandness, but now it wants some cash for the effort.

Citi

is selling its trademark red umbrella. Sure, blame it on the rain, Milli Va-Citi-nilli. Frankly, umbrellas are only designed to stop rain from above, not a flood of bad decisions from below.

MetLife

reported a profit surge after a quarter that included a $3 billion gain from a Manhattan real estate sale. I should hope they had a profit gain with $3 billion coming in. Otherwise it'd be like they were running our Iraqi war effort. $3 billion? No wonder Snoopy's dancing.

The credit agency

Equifax

will acquire a payroll-related service then arbitrarily ruin someone's life, just because it can.

The ice-cream makers MaggieMoo and Marble Slab are considering merging. Phew. I'll finally get to taste that elusive flavor, Cookies and Due Diligence.

General Corporate Crimes and Tomfoolery

The

Securities and Exchange Commission

has begun taking steps to protect corporations, executives and accounting firms from responsibility, I mean from investor lawsuits and fraud complaints. Well, of course -- now that Martha Stewart has served time, there's no more corporate crime.

Chairman Christopher Cox was recorded saying the changes were in the best interests of investors and would help rein in fraud because ... (unintelligible). His giant wooden nose knocked over the microphone.

Geppetto! Save me from the Sarbanes-Oxley!

Sanjay Kumar of

Computer Associates

infamy won a two-month delay before the start of his prison term. The judge made the standard ruling for any crime. "You robbed a liquor store, so why not take a few weeks to straighten out your estate?"

Johnson & Johnson

admitted overseas units may have made improper payments to foreign governments. Maybe. When asked to comment further, spokesman Billy from

The Family Circus

said it was "Not me."

Yum! Brands

reported higher profits. Well, it is the middle of February, which means Baby New Year is now a toddler, and you know how kids love those sweets.

The U.S. had a record trade deficit for the fifth straight year. In response, the Commerce Secretary promptly blamed Iran.

ExxonMobil's

CEO said that governments should not rush into policies that could hurt the "global economy" just to limit carbon emissions. Of course, his dictionary defines "global" as "employed by oil companies" and he was speaking from a gold-encrusted iceberg, but still, he may have a point.

A judge said the Agriculture Department erred in approving

Monsanto's

genetically engineered alfalfa. Great, but that won't stop that 10-foot-tall little rascal with pointy hair, laser eyes and flipper feet from terrorizing the future!

Coca-Cola's

profit fell 22%, prompting the company to say it would now, in fact, "Like someone else to buy the world a Coke."

Germany is reportedly facing an epidemic of corporate crime. Hey! Looks like the Marshall Plan is finally paying off.

The

Masco Corporation

will cut jobs after a poor 2006. Looks like employees have been ... e-masco-lated!

RJ Reynolds introduced a pink Camel cigarette for women. Finally, women are treated equally. At least when it comes to paying to kill themselves.

A graduate of Princeton, Virginia Law School, and the fictitious College of Asparagus Lovers, Jeff Kreisler (

JeffKreisler.com

) is an accomplished comedian, writer, producer and person. He's the winner of the 2006 Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, stars in the "Comedy Against Evil" tour, and is writing "Get Rich Cheating," a parody of corporate crime, for Prentice Hall Press. Jeff performs at clubs and colleges all over the known galaxy and has been featured at the Edinburgh Fringe, Freedom Cinema, and San Francisco Comedy Festivals. He plays blues saxophone, speaks French and Russian, was a sports broadcaster, taught English in Russia, helped start a non-profit dedicated to at-risk youth, and played college football. After extended stops in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and D.C., Jeff now lives in New York City from whence he is available for birthdays, circumcisions and bachelorette parties. Kreisler appreciates your feedback;

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