Here at the Fool, we've searched high and low across the Web this Monday morning to find the biggest news and best stories around. Here are your top five morning reads.

1. Monday morning earnings
A couple of notable earnings from this morning:

  • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) continued to see a steady decline in its landline business, but it was able to increase revenue through healthy wireless services growth. Thanks to a couple of writedowns, earnings were off 30% from last year. (Read more at Yahoo! Finance.)
  • Corning (NYSE:GLW) beat expectations thanks to stronger demand for flat screen televisions and other glass products. (Read more at Reuters.)

2. Washington Mutual's failure, revisited
If you're someone who learns best by studying failures, then this two-part series on Washington Mutual's demise is must-read material. The bank, which was eventually seized by the FDIC and had its assets sold to JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), embraced a series of reckless short-term decisions that eventually doomed it when housing markets turned south. (Read part one here and part two here, both from The Seattle Times.)

3. George Soros on financial reform
George Soros, the author of several finance books and chairman of Soros Fund Management, has an editorial in The Financial Times reminding governments not to ignore the need for financial reform. As Soros puts it: "Instead of a tendency toward equilibrium, financial markets have a tendency to develop bubbles. Bubbles are not irrational: it pays to join the crowd, at least for a while. So regulators cannot count on the market to correct its excesses." (Read more at The Financial Times.)

4. Private equity beings floating IPOs, a good sign?
Private Equity firm Blackstone (NYSE:BX) is looking to unload Merlin Entertainment, the second-largest theme park operator after Disney (NYSE:DIS), through an IPO that could be valued at nearly $3.3 billion. If you've ever wanted to own a piece of those creepily realistic wax figures at Madame Tussauds, here's your chance. (Read more at Yahoo! Finance.)

5. Russian banks look for pigs, lingerie
Reeling from heavy losses, Russian lenders have started accepting a series of strange assets as collateral. Loans secured with pig farms and stakes in failing lingerie chains? No problem! (Read more at Bloomberg.)

Check Fool.com throughout the day for commentary and analysis on these and other stories. Or you can follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or through our email digests.

Eric Bleeker owns shares of no companies listed above. Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.