Michelle Leder's indefatigable persistence at reading the most obscurantist and mind-numbing SEC filings and gleaning nuggets of interest to post at her blog Footnoted.org has impressed ever since a colleague of mine told me to start paying attention around six months ago. But she really went the extra mile this morning, wading through all 66 pages of a PowerPoint presentation from MasterCard that breaks new ground in the sheer volume of inane buzzword-osity it delivers.
I will be honest. I would never have made it past the opening slide. But then I would never have laid my eyes on the ultimate prize:
But the prize for the oddest slide goes to #27, which talks about moving into new segments including the introduction of a credit card designed exclusively for women, which, at least to this woman, seems beyond kooky. This sort of thing might have made sense in the 1970s -- I still remember my mom making a point of opening up an account at the First Women's Bank of New York -- but seems a bit dated now.
Michelle, it's a big world. And what might be beyond kooky for a sophisticated New York woman could be just the ticket for a classy dame in Kuwait. Or Thailand. Or the Philippines.
Because my own rigorous research, which arduously amounted to a Google search for the keywords "MasterCard" and "exclusively for women" indicates that MasterCard and its banking partners has already rolled out gender-ized plastic in a half a dozen nations around the world.
In the Philippines, HSBC invites women to "Get the card that is as irresistible as you...The card that celebrates your beauty, strength, and independence." In the United Arab Emirates, ABN Amro tells us that "The card's key differentiator is that it is not just a supplementary or second card -- it acknowledges that women are financially independent and want control of their own expenditure and banking."
But Thailand's Krungsri GE Lady Titanium MasterCard wins this beauty pageant. Not only is it "the only perfume scented Credit Card in Thailand," but it also offers "a wide array" of "You Are My Lady Privileges" including discounts for cosmetics and spa and fitness clubs.
Come on -- Lady Titanium! You know you want one.