"Observe, I do not mean to suggest that the *custom* of lying has suffered any decay or interruption - no, for the Lie, as a Virtue, A Principle, is eternal; the Lie, as a recreation, a solace, a refuge in time of need, the fourth Grace, the tenth Muse, man's best and surest friend, is immortal, and cannot perish from the earth while this club remains. My complaint simply concerns the decay of the *art* of lying. No high-minded man, no man of right feeling, can contemplate the lumbering and slovenly lying of the present day without grieving to see a noble art so prostituted."
Mark Twain, On The Decay Of The Art of Lying
Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace was once asked during a Q & A session where he got the source material for the life of the elusive William Wallace, hero of Scotland. Part of it, he said, came from the 15th century epic poem, "The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace." The rest, he "just felt in his heart."
Meaning he made it up.
That's okay by me. If it ain't true, it ought to be. I wanted to believe in William Wallace, and his namesake Randall made it easy for me to suspend my disbelief. That's why I rewarded him (and Mel Gibson, too) by buying a ticket to see his made-up movie. He's a slick liar, that Randall Wallace.
Mariano Rajoy, Spain's recently installed Prime Minister, is by most accounts, a decent fellow. Yes, he's a bumpkin who doesn't know economics from plate tectonics (which he openly admits), but he's sincere, at least, about fiscal reform. I have no doubt that Mr. Rajoy loves his country dearly; but that's not what Spain needs right now.
What Spain needs now is a liar: a scandalous, low-down, dirty, rotten, magnificent, world-class prevaricator at the helm.
Every time Angela Merkel opens her mouth, the world believes it. Germany has not been so well served by a leader since Otto von Bismarck. Is there any doubt in the world that when Antonis Samaras, a Professor Moriarty-caliber deceiver if there ever was one, claims that he can make another $14 billion in cuts the market is inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt? (Even if the ECB won't?)
So why can't Spain manage to bluff the market for a single month?
Who appreciates this level of honesty from a nation incapable of devaluing its currency to make its exports more competitive? More to the point, what leader in their right mind would admit that they are broke on the same day that Egan Jones cut Spanish bonds to a level so abysmal that the term "junk" describes the ceiling rather than the floor?
Mr. I-Can-Not-Tell-A-Lie Rajoy. That's who.
There goes the yield curve!
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.