The debt ceiling crisis in the U.S. is a prime situation for straddles. If the crisis is not solved, stocks will go down crashing. It is solved, then gold will come back down.
Straddles allow an investor to profit either way, up or down, provided the underlying stock moves a minimum amount.
There are straddles for August 2011, using three very popular ETFs: IWM (Russel 2000), GLD (gold), and FXY (Yen):
Please do your own due diligence. Options are dangerous and may cause 100% loss.