Ohio GOP Senate hopeful shorting U.S. Treasury bonds and betting on default

By David Ferguson
Friday, July 27, 2012 13:42 EDT
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Josh Mandel Ohio via screencap
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Republican Josh Mandel, the former Ohio congressman and State Treasurer who is running against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to represent Ohio in the Senate, has positioned himself and his wife financially to reap a significant profit if the U.S. government fails to raise the debt ceiling and defaults on its loans, according to Think Progress. Mandel has campaigned on refusing to raise the debt ceiling, a move which he opposed when it came to a vote last year.

Financial disclosure documents reveal that the would-be Senator’s wife, Ilana Shafran Mandel, owns up to $1,000 of shares in ProShares Ultra-Short 20+ Year Treasury exchange-traded fund (ETF). These funds aggressively “short” U.S. Treasury bonds, which means to bet against U.S. debt. The ProShares commodities’ value spikes when the value of shares in the U.S. government plummet, as would happen if the country defaulted on its loans, a scenario that would become significantly more likely if Mandel became one of Ohio’s two Senators.

Additionally, Mrs. Mandel has up to $15,000 of holdings in other funds that bet against the U.S. Treasury. While these holdings may seem like insignificant amounts, their value would skyrocket in the event of a U.S. debt default.

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) came under fire last year for similar financial entanglements. It was revealed that the, too, was betting against the U.S. Treasury while publicly agitating against raising the debt ceiling, a position that many consider to be a profound conflict of interest.

You can view the financial forms via Think Progress, here.

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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