Dean Starkman has a great piece in the CJR about the chaos on Wall Street, which suggests that Illinois has a pretty good case in its lawsuit against Countrywide. I think his argument for regulation is pretty convincing, too, even if all this mess isn’t the “fault” of evil Wall Street bankers. Even spotting David Brooks his argument that none of this would have happened if the borrowers were better people, I still don’t see the problem–if I loan you my bike, and you don’t lock it up because you think your neighborhood is safe, and it gets stolen, the person at fault is the thief, obviously, but I’m at the very least going to marvel at your naivete and wish you had enacted the regulation of the bike lock I gave you. 

One beef, though: what’s wrong with watching Boiler Room as training? Isn’t the point of Boiler Room that it’s bad to rip off vulnerable people for the purpose of buying blow and huge empty houses that contain nothing but a plasma TV? (But being a Giovanni Ribisi mark I’m biased.)

In other economic news, Andrew Lloyd Webber is letting laid-off bankers into The Sound of Music and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. For free. Everything about that is so perfect it makes me want to cry.

& also: my primer on Big Shitpile.