Friday, December 26, 2008

Arctic Circle Press news release

Dec. 26, North Pole

Santa Claus Enterprises, LLC, has formally approached the incoming Obama administration team for a share of the bailout dollars, or TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) Fund, saying that "Christmas toys for girls and boys" may be endangered next year if access to capital and debt relief is not provided.

Kris Kringle, president and CEO, says "our operation has been a successful model for business success over generations, but when people are cutting back the way they have, we may not be there when the economy recovers without a boost to tide us over."

Mr. Kringle pointed out that they are, in fact, already needing to purchase supplies and materials for the 2009 Christmas season even before January. "Our supply chain is stretched tight, and we don't carry lots of materials inventory through the Christmas season - we're used to cleaning this place out, and then picking right up on Jan. 2 to get ready for next year."

Jimmy Jingle, senior provost of the Ancient & Honorable Order of Workshop, Delivery, and Transport Elves (also known as the "Little Teamsters"), agrees that a capital and credit guarantee is in order. "We think it is very important to maintain confidence in the entire North Pole operation -- there are very few mass gifting and very-special-delivery models out there, and this one, with the active support of parents and grandparents and local retailers, is doing the very best they can. We stand behind, while standing on each others' shoulders, the choices the Old Man has made that led us to this point, and are certain he will lead us into a brighter, more efficient, and new holiday season."

Kringle notes that in his initial contacts with Congress, he has made but sparing use of the fact that, in his words, he "knows who's been naughty and nice." Admitting that the senators and representatives he speaks to are aware of this capacity of his position, Kringle doubts that it has unfairly influenced any of the key committee chairs -- or Mr. Obama.

"President-elect Obama is acutely aware, through his two daughters, of how important continuity is to the Christmas morning surprise from year to year. We hope that no political considerations would end up endangering a smooth transition from one season to the next." Kringle has not spoken to the Chinese government about their possible underwriting of his operation, but he does say "we have talked, and that channel will always be open as long as parents want cheap toys."

As a privately held company, there was no immediate response on Wall Street from the news of the bailout request.

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