Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan today expressed surprise that Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer actually required batteries for his nose.
Some reporters noted that the language was virtually identical to what Mr. Greenspan had used several times previously, including during the meltdown of the U.S. financial structure this fall. They pointed out that all of the press releases have the same typographic error in the second paragraph -- "surprise" missing the first "r" in the second paragraph.
Testifying before Congress in October regarding the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, other financial firms, the loss of multimillion dollar bonuses and the cancelling of really hot parties at "retreats," Greenspan said he believed that banks and other financial businesses would act in their own self-interest to protect shareholders and their institutions. Discovering things hadn't quite worked out that way, he confessed that he found himself in a state of "shocked disbelief."
Rumors also surfaced that "the little people" had lost homes, jobs and their life's savings, although no one testifying had ever had direct contact with such people.
Greenspan had released similar statements of amazement when told that used car salesmen sometimes stretch the truth and when he noticed the changing size of Pamela Anderson's breasts.
In a related story of incredulous events President George Bush expressed surprise that anyone had believed the White House justifications for the invasion of Iraq. "Sure, we faked the intelligence. So what?"
A normally dour Vice-President Cheney actually smiled once during an interview with this reporter and said, "We really never thought anyone could believe such crap." Speaking from an undisclosed location six miles north of Jackson, Wyoming, down that second dirt road on the left just past the "Posted, No Democrats" sign, third house on the right, he added, "If we had any idea how successful we would be at selling this, we would have invaded a bigger country with more oil."