Note: I wrote this piece back in December of 2008. It was something fun to write during a less than optimistic time. I hope it brings a smile to your face today. Happy Holidays! – Brian Myers

The mainstream media has been unwilling to report it, but according to Arcticblog the financial crisis has now affected Santa.

Articblog is reporting that lack of short term financing has caused North Pole Operations to come close to a standstill. In a rare interview with St. Nicholas it was disclosed that the credit freeze has created havoc with NPO’s ability to purchase raw materials for the toyshop, as well as make payroll for a relatively large workforce of elves. Additionally, suppliers of finished goods such as Hasbro and Mattel have been forced to withhold shipments of orders to NPO pending payment for prior orders. An unidentified elf union representative indicated that there already have been substantial layoffs, and he’s worried that even with wage concessions by the union NPO simply won’t be able to supply the planet with gifts this season. He added that a permanent shutdown wasn’t out of the question.

NPO’s problems began last summer when the annual purchase of hay and grain for the reindeer saw unprecedented costs for both the commodities and shipping. “The grain and hay we bought were unfortunately nearly at the peak of their value. Corn was $7.23 a bushel and wheat was around $8.00. And then the freight to get it here was astronomical. Diesel fuel was $4.90 a gallon at the time,” Nicholas said. Much of NPO’s cash reserve was apparently used up covering the additional expense. By the end of September, NPO was no longer able to arrange short term financing as the credit markets began to freeze up. The toyshop was at peak annual production but raw material inventory was running low due to NPO’s inability to pay suppliers. Eventually production slowed and the first round of layoffs came.

Nicholas declined to comment when asked about rumors that he will be traveling to Washington, DC this week to meet with representatives from Congress, the Treasury department, the Federal Reserve, and the Obama transition team. Experts reckon that NPO has to have their financing in place no later than December 15 in order to meet its production and delivery deadlines, although there are further unconfirmed reports that a joint venture contingency plan involving Walmart and FedEx is being considered. One of the currently laid-off toyshop employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “Look, they’re going to bail out GM and Chrysler. So why not us?”

Why not indeed…After all, isn’t Santa “too big to fail”?

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