It took 15 ballots, but eventually, new Congressional leadership was elected. Urged by President Trump to “play tough” on the debt ceiling, the House immediately set out to provoke a crisis. Another one. For a few months, the Treasury has gotten by on extraordinary measures like delaying contributions to pension funds. But that margin will soon be exhausted, maybe as soon as June 1. The edge of the precipice now in sight, negotiations are starting. But what, exactly, is the debt ceiling? Is it really that important?