Sometime today, the House Republicans will hold a vote on whether or not to raise the debt limit with no strings attached, as the Obama administration has requested. The idea is to prove to the administration that the health of the global economy is now a hostage to the GOP’s extreme demands for massive, unprecedented cuts in domestic spending and entitlements. Essentially, the Republicans are saying, “Destroy your own base of political support, punish the elderly, the needy, and our veterans, or the global economy gets it.” It’s not a serious vote. It’s a joke vote.

And for all the talk of economic crisis should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling by August, the financial markets are likely to yawn at this vote — if only because Republican leaders have privately assured Wall Street executives that this is a show intended to make the point to Mr. Obama that an increase cannot pass absent his agreement to rein in domestic programs.

“Wall Street is in on the joke,” said R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The stock market may yawn at today’s vote, but they’ll completely freak out if the the deadline for raising the limit gets close without some action.

This is an opportunity for you to make a lot of money. Just think back to the debate over TARP.

Mr. Josten of the Chamber of Commerce, who has met privately with Republican newcomers on fiscal matters since January, asked, “Am I the only one who remembers the split screen on TARP?”

He is not. Increasingly, worriers from Washington to Wall Street recall how House Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin first rejected the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as the bank bailout, on Sept. 29, 2008, though the financial system was near collapse and a Republican president, George W. Bush, was pleading for their support.

That afternoon, cable networks split screens to capture the stock markets going down simultaneously with the House vote; the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 777 points, its largest single-day point drop. Four days later, following the Senate’s lead, the House approved a revised bailout and Mr. Bush signed it into law.

A time will come sometime in July when the Republicans fail to raise the debt ceiling and Wall Street starts a massive sell-off. This is when you buy shares. You might want to wait until the market has lost more a third of its value, though, because it could be a very long time before the global economy recovers and stock prices reach their pre-crisis levels.

Take the time to read this account of what may happen if the government defaults (or even comes close to defaulting) on its debts.

You need to pay close attention to where you have your money parked, and seek out advice about where you can find safety.

Everyone may think the Republicans are bluffing and that this is all a joke, but there is nothing funny about what’s going on, and there doesn’t seem to be any realistic prospect of the GOP backing down prior to a major adverse event on Wall Street.

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