Former trillionaire, famed philanthropist and extravagant gift-giver Santa Claus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday and may be seeking a US government bailout, according to sources leaked to the media.
Santa blames the Earth's burgeoning population, global warming and simple greed for his downfall.
"The North Pole is collapsing" Santa said in a statement. "It's cost me a hundred billion just to keep the ice sheet from collapsing and destroying my workshop entirely".
Santa stated that when he first started in business there were only a few hundred thousand children in the world. That figure has skyrocketed to several billion. Also, children were once satisfied with a ball or a doll but now want expensive toys such as Nintendo and Sony game stations.
"It's simple greed", Santa told Unconfirmed Sources. "I can't afford to keep giving these kids what they want. And it's also impossible to keep track of which kids are naughty or nice because the very definitions of the words have changed. If I determine one kid to be 'naughty' I risk a lawsuit from his parents for showing favoritism over the 'nice' kids!"
Santa says that Christmas will go on as usual this year but the bankruptcy reorganization may force him to relocate his workshop to a Caribbean island.
"The North Pole used to be an ideal tax haven", Santa stated. "With global warming there soon won't be a North Pole".
Scientists have demonstrated that the ice bergs which once protected Santa's factories have melted considerably and large ice sheets threaten to crash into his home at any time.
The Caribbean island of Aruba has offered to host Santa's workshop and allow him much needed tax breaks. However, environmental groups argue that putting the factories on the island would interfere with the native wildlife and they vowed to prevent the plan. In addition, Aruba is a well known location for drug smugglers and could destroy Santa's reputation.
"Maybe I'll change to drug smuggling", Santa said. "It sure pay better than fricking milk and cookies!"