Meredith Whitney continues to get thumped by everyone under the sun for predicting on 60 Minutes that 50-100 American cities will go bust next year, triggering the next leg down in the financial crisis. Whitney’s competitors, for example, are outraged (in part, no doubt, because she was on 60 Minutes, not them). Journalists and research firms are scrambling to refute her. Towns and cities are furious. Muni bond holders want blood. And so on. Which means that Meredith Whitney has done it again. Great Wall Street analysts make big, bold calls that make people think. And, right now, Meredith Whitney is the best in the business at that. Regardless of whether Whitney’s latest default-doomsday prediction comes true, the whole country is now aware that hundreds of towns, cities, and states face massive budget shortfalls that have to be addressed. Dozens of analysts are now frantically gathering data to figure out whether Meredith Whitney is right or wrong. And we’ve all gotten a lot better informed about our slow-motion municipal trainwreck.