Faced with bankrupt retail chains vacating stores across the nation, the biggest mall owner in the U.S., Simon Property Group, said it had a drop in earnings in the second quarter and lowered its earnings forecast for the rest of 2009. "The economic and retail environments remain difficult," said David Simon, the mall REIT's CEO. So far this year, bankrupt retailers have left behind more than 2 million square feet of mall space, he said.

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