Following the implosion of the Iceland’s economy analysts have switched their focus to Lapland and Father Christmas. Christmas bonds have fallen to the lowest possible rating on the ‘Below Standard’, ‘Getting Poor’ and ‘Moody and Snitch’ scale to F/XXX,, indicating that investors are screwed, but there may be some recoverable entertainment value.

The de-regulation of the Lapland financial sector in the late 1990s is often identified as the source of the crisis. “At first we couldn’t believe that bankers in New York and London believed in Father Christmas” said Lappish finance gnome, Lars Loan. “They accepted that our business model was on giving away toys and that we didn’t charge for our services.” According to the gnome, the banks even accepted the ‘Santa clauses’ imposed by the unions stating ‘I believe in Fairies, Magicians, Elementals and Unicorns’.

“It was crazy,” said Lars “but we made sure that the bankers’ kids got a double helping of presents.”

Loans to Lapland allowed Father Christmas to expand, buying toys from China to increase supply, focusing Lapp toy production on extra large toys, paying elves high wages and keeping laid off elves on full magical benefits. It also allowed Mrs Christmas to go shopping in Dubai and holiday on Christmas Island.

The shocking turn around has left elves and other Lapland creatures stunned. Restaurants are closing and many of the Lithuanian Goblins that did much of the physical labour are returning home. Some elves are considering migrating to California to work on the upcoming computer game ElfQuest IV. Experts suggest that the Lapland economy needs major restructuring including a return to the ‘no work no fairy food’ work conditions that were in place from the 12th to the 19th Century. Elvish Workers Union representative Felix Dwarfsbane says hardest hit will be those elves layed-off on full pay to make way for new electronic toys and computer games: “they simply lack the skills to participate in digital animation.”

Extreme green elves are calling for a return to traditional Christmas toys using wood from the forests.

The Confederation of Fairies, Magicians, Elementals and Unicorns has insisted that the only solution to the crisis is for Father Christmas to subsidise a new pulp mill at the North Pole. “This project will give lots of fairies and money magicians jobs and makes Lapland self-sufficient in wrapping paper, as well as toilet rolls for naughty children,” says the Flannelette Fairy. Given the global over-supply it is not clear whether the CFMEU have been good enough to get a pulp mill in their stocking.

Note: a previous version of this story reporting that a Unicorn representative was seen driving Santa’s sleigh and cavorting with reindeer in the forest has been emphatically denied by the confederation. “We don’t cavort with management,” was the only statement.

Lappish Chapter 11 bankruptcy provisions have allowed the sleigh and reindeer to ride one more time before they are seized by irate bankers. Families are requested to put money under the chimney rather than beer or carrots if they want to see the jolly fat man in 2009.

Following the Iceland terrorism debacle, Christmas Grinch, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has refused to comment on the “Loans to Lapland” affair. Ex-Christmas-Elf, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he is taking the idea of a bailout very seriously. “The gnomes of Treasury have a committee looking at it, but I have decided to pre-empt them by sending $1000 to every child, just in case. Have a Merry Christmas”.

Alex Wadsley

PS: Opposition Elf and former financial wizard Mal Turnbull’s only response was “Anything he can do, I can do better.”

Alex Wadsley
THERE HAVE been warnings that Yuletide bonuses will be slashed this year and that only the very best of little boys and girls will be happy on Chirstmas morning due to the unfolding financial crisis. Father Christmas has called for a bail-out to avoid children’s disappointment.