The Wall Street Journal reports, US retail sales rose again in March as Americans spent more on home improvement, gasoline and cars, a sign that consumers remain confident in the recovery. Retail and food service sales increased 0.8% from February. The Wall Street Journal also reports, European banks are bracing for a wave of ratings downgrades in coming weeks, that could intensify pressure on the fragile industry, and further undercut recent efforts, to defuse the Continent’s long-running financial crisis. Under pressure from banks, Moody’s said Friday, that it is delaying until early May its highly anticipated decision, on whether to downgrade the credit ratings of 114 banks in 16 European countries. Bloomberg reports, Two years after President Barack Obama vowed to eliminate the danger of financial institutions becoming “too big to fail,” the nation’s largest banks are bigger, than they were before the credit crisis. According to the Federal Reserve, Five banks — JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs — held .5 trillion in assets, at the end of 2011, which equals 56 percent of the US economy. That specter is eroding faith in Obama’s pledge that taxpayer-funded bailouts, are a thing of the past. It is also exposing him to criticism from Federal Reserve officials, Republicans and Occupy Wall Street supporters, who see the concentration of bank power as a threat to economic stability. Finally Reuters reports, The British businessman

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