The Republican nominee in Ohio's Senate race stands to reap a significant financial windfall if the government defaults by not raising the debt ceiling, a move he opposed last year and has indicated he would vote against if elected to the Senate.
According to personal financial disclosure documents examined by ThinkProgress, Josh Mandel's wife owns an undisclosed amount of ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury exchange-traded fund (ETF). This ETF aggressively "shorts" U.S. Treasury bills, meaning that it bets against U.S. debt and spikes when Treasury bill values drop. If a default were to occur, the desirability of Treasury bills would plummet and Mandel's ETF would skyrocket in value.
That precise scenario could become more likely if Mandel wins his race against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). One of the top issues Mandel lists on his website is to "Stop increasing the debt ceiling."
Similarly, when Congress was embroiled in the debt ceiling fight last year, he stated that he "would have voted against the debt deal" that narrowly staved off a default.
The very optics of a politician profiting off a default could present problems for Mandel as he tries to convince Ohio voters to send him to Washington next year so he can "stop increasing the debt ceiling."
Think Progress: Mandel Shorting U.S. Treasury Bonds, Would Profit From Government Default