With consumer confidence diving 11.5 points in October - its fourth consecutive monthly dive and the lowest reading since February 1994 - retail credits across the capital markets are feeling the crunch, particularly in the credit-focused world of credit tenant leases, where below-investment-grade retail issuers are getting all but shut out.

"The CTL structure right now for strong investment-grade companies is still a very viable structure," said one commercial real estate banker, "but when you start looking at triple-B or triple-B-minus companies that are retailers trying to do twenty-year paper, there's just not a lot of takers right now. I'm not sure that there were that many pre-September 11, and I think there's a lot less now."

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