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Top of the Morning: Moody’s Downgrade, BNP Asset Cuts, Retail Sales, MF Global Job Cuts, EU Banks Losing Deposits

Credit Agricole, Societe Generale Ratings Cut (Bloomberg)
Credit Agricole SA (ACA) and Societe Generale SA, France’s second- and third-largest banks, had their long-term credit ratings cut one level by Moody’s Investors Service, which now plans to examine the impact of tighter financing markets on French lenders.

Six Months Later: USMI, SNDS, BNPC

BNP Paribas plans $96 billion of asset sales (Reuters)
Top French bank BNP Paribas plans to sell 70 billion euros ($96 billion) of risk-weighted assets to ease investor fears about French bank leverage and funding as its main rivals were hit by ratings downgrades.

Retail Sales Unchanged (WSJ)
U.S. retail sales were flat in August, a potentially worrying sign that Americans are increasingly wary as unemployment remains high and the recovery weak.

MF Global to Cut Jobs in Asia, Europe (WSJ)
MF Global Holdings Ltd. said it will cut its equity sales, sales trading and research staff in Europe and Asia by more than 30% as it makes the transition into a commodities-focused investment bank.

Risk Rises at ECB as European Banks Lose Deposits (Bloomberg)
European banks are losing deposits as savers and money funds spooked by the region’s debt crisis search for havens, a trend that could worsen economic and financial conditions.

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