Northern Rock has hit back at George W Bush's claim that it is part of the Axis of Evil by saying that it was "just a case of sour grapes" by the US President.
In recent months, Bush has listed a number of organisations as part of the Axis, including Iran, North Korea, most London minicab drivers, Jamie Oliver, "anybody who was married to a former US President and wants to become President herself" and, most controversially, Osama bin Liner's Al Qaeda Mountain Animal Rescue Centre.
White House officials were quick to deny that the President's comments were linked to the appearance of a 'For Sale' sign outside the White House. "Any suggestion that any bank or savings and loan is foreclosing on this administration will be met by a pre-emptive strike. It'll be Shock and Awe all over again!"
However, senior insiders at the Department of Defense have made it clear that they would not be able to raise the funds for such a strike. "The only strike we'll be going on is the writers' strike in Hollywood!"
The development comes just days after rumours that Northern Rock were closing in on the Vatican over another defaulted loan.
Shares in Northern Rock closed at 2.5p (although the Bank of England is said to be selling them on as part of a 'Buy one, get one free' offer).