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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Wall Street is buzzing about Verizon today. The telecommunications giant carried out the biggest sale in the history of the bond market, $49 billion worth of corporate bonds. Verizon will use the money to finance its recent mega deal with Vodafone.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, the sale comes at a time when interest rates are rising. And companies that want to raise money can't afford to lose any time.

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And I'm Melissa Block. Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, died over the weekend in Manhattan. She was 84. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, Siebert was a pioneer who broke down numerous doors in the male-dominated world of Wall Street.

After decades supplying the American consumer with every import imaginable, Wal-Mart now says it wants to stock its shelves with more goods made in the U.S. In Orlando Thursday, the giant retailer sponsored a conference aimed at encouraging U.S. companies to bring their production back home.

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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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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.

William Ackman, a controversial hedge fund manager, has resigned from the board of the J.C. Penney Company. Ackman is Penny's largest shareholder and had been engaged in a public dispute with the board over who should lead the struggling retailer.

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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And the Justice Department took an unusual step yesterday when it indicted a firm for securities fraud. Officials say the hedge fund company SAC Capital and its founder Steven Cohen routinely tolerated and encouraged illegal activity by employees. SAC is denying charges that it engaged in massive insider trading over the years.

NPR's Jim Zarroli has the story.

Federal prosecutors finally brought their case against SAC Capital, the giant hedge fund that for years has outperformed almost all of its competitors. Prosecutors say they know why. The firm encouraged the use of illegal insider information and trading on that information became a part of the firm's culture, according to the indictment.

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Billionaire Steven Cohen is fighting back. He faces federal charges that he didn't do enough to prevent insider trading at his hedge fund SAC Capital. As The Wall Street Journal reported this morning, Cohen's firm issued a rebuttal, claiming that he never saw an email that's an important part of the government's case.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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And after years of economic stagnation, Japan is experiencing growing confidence. And voters in Japan handed a big victory yesterday to the ruling party in parliamentary elections. The election gives Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ambitious economic agenda known as Abenomics quite a boost. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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.

Three years ago the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges against Goldman Sachs and one of its traders, Fabrice Tourre. They were charged with misleading investors over mortgage-backed securities. Goldman settled and agreed to pay $550 million. Tourre's trial began Monday in a Manhattan court room.

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Some of the country's biggest retailers have unveiled an initiative they say will improve conditions for workers on the other side of the world. The move by Wal-Mart, Target, and others is intended to boost safety in Bangladesh garment factories.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports the plan is a response to the devastating building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in April.

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On Wall Street, many things are bought and sold, including, occasionally, interest rates. That happened today. The owner of the New York Stock Exchange bought LIBOR, a hugely influential benchmark rate that is set in London. LIBOR is used to set many other interest rates, from credit cards to derivatives contracts.

Over the next few weeks, thousands of U.S. based publicly traded corporations will be reporting their quarterly results. Within days though, judgments will start to be made on whether the economy is holding up well enough to justify stock prices that are approaching a new peak. Alcoa says it lost more money than expected during the second quarter of this year because of restructuring costs.

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The Obama administration's decision to delay implementation of a key part of the Affordable Care Act is winning praise from business groups today. The administration has announced it will wait another year before penalizing large employers who fail to offer health care coverage to their workers. The delay gives retail and restaurant companies that had opposed the mandate more time to prepare for the law.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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.

Federal regulators have filed civil charges against former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in connection with the failure of his commodities firm, MF Global. The government says Corzine failed to stop the firm from dipping into customer funds during a financial crisis in October 2011.

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He was a governor, a senator and a Wall Street success story. Now, Jon Corzine faces federal civil charges. Regulators filed them today in connection with the collapse of Corzine's commodities firm, MF Global. The government says he failed to stop the firm from misusing customer funds during the financial crisis in October 2011.

NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us more.

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.

The Supreme Court sided with government regulators in an important case involving the pharmaceutical industry and patent law. At issue were contracts between "brand-name" pharmaceutical companies and "generic" producers in which the brand-name company paid the generic not to compete. The court said the Federal Trade Commission could challenge such contracts.

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.

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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Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund came out with a scathing report about the way the Greek debt crisis was handled. It says European officials took too long to restructure Greece's debt because they were too concerned about protecting investors. Today, as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, European officials hit back.

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The federal probe of a hugely successful hedge fund may have investors ready to pull out much of their money. SAC Capital is under investigation for insider trading. Several published reports indicate outside investors are worried about that investigation and whether it will touch Steven Cohen, the firm's founder.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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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.

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."

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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Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, has beaten back the most significant challenge to his leadership since he took charge. Company shareholders turned down a proposal that would have taken away one of his titles.

But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, shareholders made clear they are unhappy about the performance of some board members.

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