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
4:19 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Wal-Mart Won't Sign Pact, Has Own Way To Protect Workers

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 4:35 am

Following a factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 people, Wal-Mart has declined to join a multi-company factory safety accord to try to prevent future disasters. Instead, the world's largest retailer announced its own set of inspection and safety measures.

Business
2:21 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Wall Street Complains About Bloomberg Reporters' Access To Info

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 am

Giant financial data company Bloomberg is acknowledging that some of its subscribers were tracked by the company's reporters. The reporters were allowed to see what kind of information the subscribers were looking at and how long it had been since they logged on. The tracking came to light after Goldman Sachs Raised questions about the practice. Over the weekend, the Federal Reserve said it is looking into whether its employees were tracked as well.

Business
3:50 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 3:41 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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Business
4:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Why Ben Franklin Is The World's Banker

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now it's a rare thing for Americans to get a glimpse of Ben Franklin's face on a hundred dollar bill. Even if they have a hundred bucks most people do not carry a hundred dollar bill in their wallets. Many stores don't even accept bills that large because they fear counterfeits. So here's a surprise contained in a recent report from the Federal Reserve: Three-quarters of all American currency in circulation is in the form of hundreds.

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Business
2:41 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Stocks Rise Despite Lackluster Corporate Earnings Reports

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. From understanding language, let's try to understand one development in the economy. Corporate revenues have been lackluster. But despite that, stock prices keep going up. This might have something to do with what the Federal Reserve has been up to. Hoping to get money into the economy and stimulate growth, the Fed has been aggressively buying bonds. And Fed officials said, after their two-day meeting ended yesterday, that they could even accelerate the bond purchases if necessary.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Around the Nation
3:46 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

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

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
4:03 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Fake Tweet Causes Financial Markets To Drop

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: Hackers got into the Associated Press's Twitter account yesterday and sent out a fake tweet saying that the White House had been attacked. Though the tweet was discredited very quickly, it created a swift and panicked reaction on the stock market.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The tweet said that a pair of bombs had gone off in the White House and President Obama was injured. Almost instantaneously, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125 points.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
1:09 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

MIT Officer Died Protecting His Community, In Job He Loved

MIT campus police officer Sean Collier, 26, was shot and killed during an altercation with the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects Thursday night.
MIT Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 3:30 pm

The grisly week that began at the Boston Marathon Monday left one police officer dead.

As police closed in on the bombing suspects Thursday night, law enforcement officials say two officers were shot. One, transit police officer Richard Donohue, is in critical condition at Mount Auburn Hospital.

The other, Sean Collier of the MIT campus police, was pronounced dead Thursday night.

MIT says Collier had gone to respond to a report of an altercation on campus Thursday evening. Soon, word came over the police radio that he had been shot.

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Politics
4:06 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Labor Department Nominee Questioned On Housing Case

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 8:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama's nominee to head the Labor Department, Thomas Perez, appeared before a Senate committee today where he tried to portray himself as a bipartisan problem-solver who could listen to all sides. While the tone of the hearing was friendly, Perez faced some skeptical questions about a housing discrimination case he was involved with at the Justice Department.

NPR's Jim Zarroli has the story.

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Business
3:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Despite Flaws, Harvard Economists Stand By Research

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 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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Business
2:42 am
Mon April 15, 2013

After Years Of Climbing, Gold Prices Slide

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 11:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's stay on the topic of billionaires.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sure.

GREENE: Bloomberg News is reporting that billionaire investor John Paulson has lost more than $300 million as a result of the slide in gold prices. After climbing for years, gold has recently lost considerable ground. And it's widely expected to fall even further this week.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Economy
2:34 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Margaret Thatcher's Economy

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. Steve Inskeep is in Venezuela, reporting this week on that country's presidential election, and he'll be on the program tomorrow. I'm David Greene.

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Economy
4:53 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 9:08 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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Around the Nation
2:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Feds Ban Banks From Charging Homeowners Fees On 'Forced Insurance'

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Federal regulators are taking aim at a practice they say is forcing millions of struggling homeowners to pay higher insurance premiums. The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued an order today. It bars banks from charging lucrative fees and commissions on so-called lender-placed insurance policies. NPR's Jim Zarroli explains.

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Economy
4:50 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 3:59 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
2:42 am
Mon March 25, 2013

More Suitors Offer To Take Over Dell

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 6:34 am

The board of the computer company Dell is said to be weighing several takeover offers. The company's founder has allied with the private equity firm Silver Lake to take the company private.

Europe
2:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Confidence In Cyprus Banks Falters As Government Proposes Deposit Tax

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 3:54 pm

Cyprus is facing a run on its banks after the government proposed taxing bank deposits. The government has put off a vote on the plan in a bid to calm things down. Banks are set to re-open on Thursday after a bank holiday was declared on Monday.

Business
3:39 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Exec Says She Was Misled About Risks With 'London Whale' Trades

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Senior executives at JPMorgan Chase appeared on Capitol Hill today. They were asked by a Senate subcommittee to explain how the firm lost more than $6 billion last year in a failed hedging strategy. The testimony comes one day after the subcommittee released a report saying the bank misled regulators and the public about the size of the losses. NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us more.

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NPR Story
3:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

JPMorgan In Hot Seat Over London Whale Losses

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
2:27 pm
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 3:36 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
3:57 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 4:35 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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Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Historic Blizzard Freezes Transit In Northeast U.S.

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 5:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Heavy snow is falling across the Northeast, and when it's all over, winter storm Nemo could be a blizzard of historic proportions. The governor of Massachusetts has even ordered all cars off the roads.

CORNISH: The impact on transportation is widespread: thousands of flights cancelled, trains service disrupted. NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us more.

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Business
4:36 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 5:17 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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Business
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

DOJ Sues S&P For Giving AAA Ratings To Risky Mortgage Investments

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:38 pm

The Justice Department may seek as much as $5 billion from Standard and Poor's. In a lawsuit filed Monday night, prosecutors accuse the firm of misleading investors with fraudulent credit ratings on dozens of different mortgage bonds. It's not yet clear whether federal officials plan to file a similar suit against the other big rating firms, Moody's and Fitch. Regulators would like to see the industry be more competitive and less dependent on the firms whose securities they are rating.

Business
4:26 am
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P To Face Fraud Suit Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 11:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The U.S. Justice Department plans to file a civil suit this week accusing the credit rating company Standard and Poor's of fraud. Standard and Poor's is the company that famously downgraded U.S. debt in 2011. This investigation focuses on S and P's actions before the financial crisis. The civil action accuses S and P of fraudulently inflating the ratings of mortgage investments, setting them up for the crash that lead to the great recession. The investigation is the focus of today's Business Bottom Line, and here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Law
3:55 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

DOJ Plans To Sue S&P Over Its Ratings Of Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 8:29 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Ever since the financial crisis erupted in 2008, fingers have been pointing at ratings agencies. Well, today comes news that the U.S. government plans to sue the largest agency, Standard & Poor's for fraud. The case has to do with how the S&P rated mortgage-backed securities. To explain, we're joined by NPR's Jim Zarroli. Hey there, Jim.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Hi.

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Economy
3:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Stock Market Rallies On Positive Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We're going to take a look now at some economic indicators, and here's one number to start, 14,000. Today, the Dow closed above 14,000 for the first time since 2007. It seems the market liked what it saw in this morning's report from the Labor Department. Employers added 157,000 jobs last month, another example of slow but steady growth in the job market.

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Business
4:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Economists Shrug Off Weak U.S. Growth Rate

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:11 am

The economy shrank a bit in the fourth quarter and analysts are trying to figure out why. It's clear that declines in business inventories and government spending played a role, but was the real problem the narrowly averted fiscal cliff?

Economy
8:43 am
Wed January 30, 2013

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

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:44 am

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
3:26 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 3:36 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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