Jim Zarroli

Jim Zarroli is a business reporter for NPR News, based at NPR's New York bureau.

He covers economics and business news including fiscal policy, the Federal Reserve, the job market and taxes

Over the years, he's reported on recessions and booms, crashes and rallies, and a long string of tax dodgers, insider traders and Ponzi schemers. He's been heavily involved in the coverage of the European debt crisis and the bank bailouts in the United States.

Prior to moving into his current role, Zarroli served as a New York-based general assignment reporter for NPR News. While in this position he covered the United Nations during the first Gulf War. Zarroli added to NPR's coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the London transit bombings and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Before joining the NPR in 1996, Zarroli worked for the Pittsburgh Press and wrote for various print publications.

Zarroli graduated from Pennsylvania State University.

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Business
11:50 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Health Care Cancellation Cure Could Lead To Higher Premiums

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:49 am

The health care fix announced by President Obama on Thursday may be good news for some consumers, but it creates a big headache for insurance companies and regulators. An insurance industry trade group warns the last-minute change could destabilize the market and lead to higher premiums.

Business
11:42 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Sprecher Slams High-Speed Electronic Exchanges

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:26 am

The CEO of the firm that's about to take over the New York Stock Exchange has criticized alternative market trading. Jeffrey Sprecher said equity markets, including the NYSE, allow sophisticated traders to take advantage of small investors. He added such models are destined to fail and that people outside the markets have a sense things aren't fair.

Business
7:07 am
Mon November 4, 2013

SAC Capital Agrees To Plead Guilty To Insider Trading

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 12:28 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a guilty plea.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: SAC Capital Advisors is expected to plead guilty to securities fraud today. The hedge fund company has agreed to pay $1.8 billion to settle charges of insider trader. It's said to be the biggest fine ever in a case like this. The settlement will be announced at a news conference later today in New York City. And that's where we've reached NPR's Jim Zarroli. And Jim, explain for us, if you can, what SAC has actually agreed to here.

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Law
11:37 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Jury Selection To Begin For Trial Of Madoff Employees

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 3:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Nearly five years after Bernie Madoff was arrested for fraud, some of his former employees are about to go on trial in New York. The trial is expected to focus on how much the employees knew about Madoff's multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. Jury selections gets under way today.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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The Two-Way
3:12 am
Tue September 17, 2013

JPMorgan To Get Whale Of A Fine For Trading Losses

JPMorgan Chase will reportedly pay a $700 million fine to settle allegations that it made risky trades out of its London office that led to more than $6 billion in losses.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 4:38 am

Authorities are set to slap banking giant JPMorgan Chase with a massive fine over the bank's huge trading losses in London last year, confirms NPR's Jim Zarroli.

Though details of the deal are still pending, several reports put the amount at more than $700 million. It comes on the heels of the bank's having recently paid $410 million to settle charges that it manipulated energy markets.

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Business
10:46 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

5 Years After Financial Crisis, Are Big Banks Still A Threat?

The headquarters of Lehman Brothers in Times Square in 2008, the year the financial services firm filed for bankruptcy.
Hiroko Masuike Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:30 am

It's been five years since Lehman Brothers collapsed and touched off a banking crisis that is still being felt by the global economy. Today, the banking industry is a lot stronger than it was, but some critics say efforts to reform banking regulations have fallen short of their potential.

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Business
12:22 am
Wed August 21, 2013

U.S. Retailers Vow To Upgrade Bangladesh's Safety Standards

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 7:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Some of America's biggest retailers announced new steps yesterday aimed at improving safety standards in Bangladesh's troubled garment industry. Wal-Mart and the Gap were among the companies that formed a group called the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety after the deadliest accident ever in the garment industry.

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Law
12:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Former JPMorgan Chase Traders Charged Over 'White Whale' Bets

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 3:40 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Federal prosecutors have charged two former JPMorgan Chase traders with securities fraud. The two men worked in London. And they are part of the so-called London Whale case, which cost the company more than $6 billion. U.S. officials say the men lied about the value of some derivatives trades to cover up mounting lawsuits. More from NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Parallels
10:08 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

Too Much, Too Fast: China Sees Backlash From Massive Growth

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:25 am

At a time when much of the world is mired in economic torpor, China still enjoys enviable growth rates. Yet there's no question that its economy is growing more slowly these days.

Just ask Yan Liwei, a salesman for a construction materials company, who was visiting a park in Shanghai this weekend.

"The number of new construction projects is declining somewhat. It's taking longer for many of our clients to pay us what they owe," Liwei says. "Many small and midsized developers are feeling a cash crunch."

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Business
11:31 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Rising Interest Rates Worry Banking Industry

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 12:08 am

Five years after the start of the financial crisis, the U.S. banking industry continues to earn strong profits. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs became the latest big bank to report better than expected earnings. But rising interest rates mean a riskier environment for banks.

Economy
9:28 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Alabama County Files Plan To Exit Bankruptcy

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:57 am

Alabama's bankrupt Jefferson County has filed a 101-page plan that would force creditors to lose up to 70 cents on the dollar.

In 2011, the county underwent what's been called the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history. It's in debt by about $4.2 billion.

Because of combination of corruption and poor management, the municipality was unable to repay money it borrowed to upgrade its sewage system.

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Economy
12:48 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

G-8 Nations Pledge To Crack Down On Corporate Tax Evaders

Leaders take part in the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland on Tuesday. Their discussions included tax-avoidance issues.
Ben Stansall WPA Pool/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 5:18 pm

The world's wealthiest nations are promising to fight what they call the scourge of tax evasion. This week's meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized countries concluded with a pledge to end the use of tax shelters by multinational corporations.

But there are still big questions about how they will make a dent in the problem.

In the aftermath of the global recession, countries all over the world have struggled with budget shortfalls. More and more of them have come to blame part of their revenue problems on one culprit — tax avoidance.

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All Tech Considered
1:07 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Net Giants Try To Quell Users' Jitters About Their Data

Google, like Facebook, Microsoft and other Internet companies, is concerned that data requests from U.S. surveillance agencies could ultimately damage its reputation in the U.S. and overseas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 2:00 pm

Companies like Google and Facebook are very much caught in the middle of the current debate about national security and privacy. Press reports have said the companies are required to turn over huge amounts of customer data to government agencies like the National Security Agency, but the companies are often barred from saying anything publicly about the requests they receive.

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Business
12:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Data Leak Could Undermine Trust In Government Contractor

Federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, headquartered in McLean, Va., employed Edward Snowden, the computer technician at the center of the controversy over leaks involving the National Security Agency.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:56 am

In recent decades, a quiet revolution has been transforming the way Washington works.

Because the U.S. government does not have the workforce to complete all of its tasks, it employs private companies like Booz Allen Hamilton to do the work for it. Booz Allen is the company where Edward Snowden, who said he leaked secrets about the National Security Agency, most recently worked.

Over the past 25 years, this contract workforce has grown and plays a major role in the U.S. government, says Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.

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Business
12:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Trial To Start In Apple Price-Fixing Dispute

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 5:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Apple faces off with the Justice Department beginning today in a federal court over a price-fixing dispute. Last year, the government accused Apple of conspiring with five major publishing companies to raise prices on electronic books.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Business
12:03 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Cruise Industry Adopts Passenger 'Rights' As Incidents Mount

Damage on the Royal Caribbean ship Grandeur of the Seas is visible as the ship docks in Freeport, the Bahamas, on Monday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 3:43 am

About 2,200 passengers were being flown back to Baltimore on Tuesday, a day after their cruise ship caught fire on its way to the Bahamas. There were no injuries aboard Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas.

But in the wake of the incident and others like it, the cruise ship companies have something of a black eye. The industry is now trying to reassure passengers it's OK for them to sail, adopting what it called a passenger "bill of rights."

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Around the Nation
12:39 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Rebuilding Storm-Damaged New Jersey, One Boardwalk At A Time

People walk on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J., on Friday. The Jersey Shore beaches officially opened for the summer, after rebuilding following the destruction left behind by Superstorm Sandy last fall. The storm caused $37 billion of damage in the state.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 9:00 am

When Hurricane Sandy swept through New Jersey last year, it destroyed many homes and businesses. It also obliterated the boardwalks that are the center of social and economic life in the towns.

In the months since, many of these towns have rushed to rebuild their boardwalks, but not everyone thinks the money has been well spent.

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Business
12:50 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Bangladesh's Powerful Garment Sector Fends Off Regulation

Garment workers sew T-shirts at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2009. Bangladesh, the world's second-largest clothing exporter, has lured clothing makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 12:41 pm

Eight people died Wednesday in a fire at a Bangladeshi sweater factory. This follows the much deadlier collapse of the Rana Plaza building, where more than 900 people died.

The deaths are taking place in a garment sector that has seen explosive growth over the past three decades. The country has managed to lure clothing-makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.

As a manufacturing center, Bangladesh has little to recommend it. The roads are poor. There's no port to speak of. The electricity is notoriously unreliable. It's politically unstable.

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Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Making Room: Can Smaller Apartments Help New York City Grow?

Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
iStockphoto.com

New York City is notoriously crowded, and it's only getting more so. The city estimates it will have 1 million more people by the year 2030, many of them single. Where to place all these newcomers is a major challenge.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced plans to put up an experimental building of micro-apartments that could be replicated throughout the city. And the Museum of the City of New York is looking at ways to make better use of the city's housing stock.

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Business
12:49 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Despite Flaws, Harvard Economists Stand By Research

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 7:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Two prominent Harvard economists have admitted there are errors in an influential paper they wrote on government debt. This paper was widely cited in recent budget debates. But the economists insist their mistakes do not significantly change their research.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: In their 2010 paper, Ken Rogoff and Carmen Rinehart argued that economic growth falls significantly when a country's debt level rises above 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

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Economy
1:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Sequester Pinches Long-Term Unemployed Even More

A crowd of jobseekers attends a health care job fair on Thursday in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 6:08 am

Almost 5 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they have been searching for work for at least six months.

This week, their plight is getting a bit tougher as the government cuts their unemployment benefits — part of the automatic reductions in federal spending that took effect recently.

On a recent day, about 40 people turned out at a Manhattan jobs center run by the New York Labor Department to get advice on looking for work. These are all people who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.

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Economy
1:50 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

As Cardinal, New Pope Walked Fine Line On Economic Issues

The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio walks outside the chapel during a Mass at the Barracas neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2003. Bergoglio, who became Pope Francis, is said to have the same position as his predecessors on economic matters.
AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 12:59 pm

He took his name from a 13th century saint who gave up his wealth and threw in his lot with the poor. As cardinal in Argentina, he eschewed the trappings of power and privilege, taking public transportation and even cooking his own meals.

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Business
11:09 am
Mon March 11, 2013

In Trendy World Of Fast Fashion, Styles Aren't Made To Last

Prices at stores like Forever 21 are so low, "it's virtually impossible to walk out empty-handed," says Elizabeth Cline, who writes about fast fashion.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 12:36 pm

When she got out of college and moved to New York, Elizabeth Cline liked to shop at vintage-clothing stores. They were the kinds of places tucked away on side streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where a lot of hunting and a little luck might reward you with a great, inexpensive cocktail dress that no one else had.

Then she discovered the world of "fast fashion" — chains like Forever 21, H&M and Zara — and it redefined her whole notion of bargain shopping.

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All Tech Considered
12:54 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

As States Embrace Online Gambling, Questions Arise

Internet gambling has become legal in New Jersey and Nevada, but experts say enforcement and regulations still need to be straightened out.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 1:35 pm

Several states are rushing to establish a foothold in online gambling — an activity that federal officials were only recently trying to ban.

Just a while ago, the federal government actually viewed online gambling as a crime. Lately, the Obama administration has taken a more permissive stance. It now allows states to sell lottery tickets online.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had expressed reservations about online gambling a month ago and had vetoed an earlier version of the bill. But in the end, the pressure to sign the legislation was just too great.

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Business
1:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:17 pm

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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Economy
5:44 am
Wed January 30, 2013

In 4th Quarter, Economy Shrank For First Time Since '09

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Good morning.

Let's try again, shall we, to explain what it means when we hear that the U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. As we've discussed elsewhere in the program, the decline was slight - just one-tenth of a percentage point - but it is the first contraction of the economy since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009. NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us once again in New York. Jim, good morning.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Economy
12:26 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Japan's Economic Plan May Be Bad News For Everyone Else

Masaaki Shirakawa, the governor of the Bank of Japan, speaks before the press in Tokyo on Friday. The central bank announced new measures to stimulate the economy Tuesday.
Rie Ishii AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 12:36 pm

Moves taken by Japan's central bank are raising fears that the world could face what's called a "currency war." The measures, announced Tuesday, are designed to flood Japan's moribund economy with money and encourage businesses and consumers to spend more.

Steps like these have been tried again and again by countries all over the world — including the U.S. — in recent years, with mixed success.

What's Wrong With Pouring Money Into The Problem?

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Business
11:57 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Algeria Attack Raises Security Alarms For Energy Firms

This undated image shows the Amenas natural gas field in Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages last week. Dozens of hostages and their captors were killed when Algerian forces subsequently raided the facility.
BP AP

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 3:48 pm

The prime minister of Algeria is defending his government's response to last week's attack on a natural gas plant that left 37 hostages dead. He says the Islamic militants who were behind the attack planned to blow up the facility and would have killed a lot more people if they hadn't been stopped.

The attack happened at a huge, internationally operated facility in the Sahara. And it underscores the dangers that energy companies face when they do business in politically unstable places.

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Business
1:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Settlements Underscore Damage Done In Housing Crash

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news: Some of the biggest banks in the country have agreed to pay more than $18 billion to settle allegations of wrongdoing in their mortgage lending. That's today's "Business Bottom Line."

Bank of America said yesterday it would pay more than $10 billion to the mortgage company Fannie Mae because of bad loans sold during the housing boom. And in a separate settlement, 10 banks agreed to pay more than $8 billion in total, to settle claims that they made errors in foreclosing on people's homes. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Economy
11:15 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

Europe Fails To Stimulate Growth In 2012

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 7:52 am

The U.S. economy grew at a steady though not very strong pace this year. But Europe slipped back into recession because of the ongoing debt crisis. European leaders took steps to stimulate growth, but it wasn't enough to reverse course.

The economic crisis that got under way five years ago was felt all over the world. But Mohammed El-Erian, CEO of the investment firm PIMCO, says different regions have healed at much different rates.

The year "2012 was another multispeed world globally, in the sense that different parts did different things," he says.

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