- - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WORLD BANK

Zoellick criticizes Europe for debt crisis

The head of the World Bank is criticizing the 17 countries that share the euro currency for not taking tough actions to prevent the debt crisis in Europe.

Robert Zoellick said Wednesday that the nations did not act responsibly because they created a shared currency without ensuring that it would work. He said they should have first considered those nations that couldn’t compete in global trading markets and those that are burdened by debt.

“The global economy has entered a new danger zone with little running room as European countries resist difficult truths about the common responsibilities of a common currency,” he said in a speech at George Washington University.

Fears that Greece is headed for a default on its debt have roiled markets for days.

A Greek bankruptcy could destabilize other financially troubled European countries, such as Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy.

It also would be a severe blow to many European banks, which are large holders of Greek government bonds. Moody’s on Wednesday downgraded the credit ratings of two French banks, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole.

In his speech, Mr. Zoellick also criticized the United States for failing to deal with soaring budget deficits and not moving forward with free-trade agreements.

“It is not responsible for the United States to falter in facing fundamental issues such as unsustainable growth in entitlement spending, the need for a pro-growth tax system and a stalled trade policy,” he said.

RADIO

Sirius XM to raise price for basic package

NEW YORK | Satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio Inc. is raising the price of its basic package for the first time on Jan. 1.

The price of basic service will go from $12.95 to $14.49 per month, Sirius said Wednesday. It hasn’t raised that price since the service launched in 2002.

Sirius said earlier this year that it would raise prices for basic service, but it didn’t say by how much. To get approval from federal regulators for its 2008 merger with XM Satellite Radio, it agreed not to raise prices for three years.

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