(Corrects to remove wrong Reuters Instrument Code from bullet point 13)
Sept 16 (Reuters) - The following were the top stories in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* American International Group Inc (AIG.N) was facing a severe cash crunch as ratings agencies cut the firm's credit ratings, forcing the giant insurer to raise $14.5 billion to cover its obligations. Its shares fell 61 percent.
* U.S. Federal Reserve officials are not inclined to veer from plans to hold short-term rates steady on Tuesday.
* The balance of power in the banking industry is shifting to the old-fashioned business of chasing customer deposits and building branch networks.
* Bankruptcy expert Harvey Miller of the New York law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has been tapped to play a role in financial history once again, this time to carry out the possible liquidation of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
* Top Merrill Lynch executives explored selling a minority stake in the brokerage firm to Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) this past weekend before deciding to negotiate a planned acquisition by Bank of America Corp (BAC.N).
* Bank of America's $44 billion deal for Merrill places the bank and its hyper-competitive Chief Executive Ken Lewis at the top of the financial world.
* Lehman's filing for bankruptcy protection and Merrill's rushed sale to Bank of America put pressure on Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs, the two remaining major US investment banks, to convince investors they will survive the market turmoil.
* House Democrats leaders plan to push for a $50 billion economic-stimulus package, betting that financial-market turmoil will overcome Republican reluctance to spend more on highways and bridges.
* The Wall Street meltdown poses problems for both U.S. presidential candidates and does not especially play to the strengths of either.
* Central banks around the world pumped cash into money markets as the toppling of Wall Street titans sent shock waves across the globe.
* A big regulatory overhaul already was under discussion in Washington. Now that likely will go beyond the question of agency regulation of investment banks. The result could also end in oversight of derivatives and tighter provisions to prevent firms taking on too much debt.
* The Internal Revenue Service is seeking a way to let all taxpayers file their online forms at no extra charge.
* Hewlett-Packard Co (HP.N) said it will cut 24,600 jobs as part of its plan to integrate tech-services giant Electronic Data Systems Corp, providing the first details of how extensive its restructuring of the combined company will be.
* In announcing its sale for $121 million in cash to Best Buy Co (BBY.N), Napster Inc NAPS.O became the latest in a string of companies to regroup after attempting to challenge Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) dominance of the digital music market.
* Intel Corp's (INTC.O) six-brain chip is getting strong reviews and prompting debate over the threat to high-end offerings from Intel and others.
* In spite of the current turmoil in the financial markets, retailers are hopeful the slew of new spring styles shown at New York fashion week will still attract buyers.