What could possibly go wrong with this plan?
The mighty House of Saud has no love for Valentine's day. The holiday is banned in the magic kingdom and:
The religious police launched Thursday a nationwide crackdown on stores selling items that are red or in any other way allude to the banned celebrations of Valentine's Day, a Saudi official said.
Members of the feared religious police were inspecting shops for, heart-shaped products or gifts wrapped in red, and ordering storeowners to get rid of them, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
Red-colored or heart-shaped items are legal at other times of the year, but as Feb. 14 nears they become contraband in 3rd Century.. The kingdom bans celebration of Western holidays such as Valentine's Day, named after a Christian saint said to have been martyred by the Romans in the
Wow, so the Wahhabi dudes think that the date of Valentines day is a surprise to their citizens? That they wouldn't just buy their evil red items the week before?
Even the AP can call BS on this:
Each year, the religious police mobilize ahead of Feb. 14 and descend on gift and flower shops, confiscating all red items, including flowers.
Many Saudis, who still want to mark the popular Valentine's, do their shopping weeks before the holiday.
See this is why you have to put rational expectations in your model. Otherwise you get these silly "fool people systematically" results that defy common sense. As bad as people think macro is with RE, trust me it was way worse before RE.
PS: Maybe what's really going on is that the Wasabi-Wahhabis just don't want to pay for their Valentine swag, so they "ban and confiscate" on the eve of the holiday.