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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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Last month the Obama administration put off a decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The project has been enormously controversial. It would carry crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. This morning we examine what's at stake for the oil industry and for energy production. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Federal regulators are facing a decision on whether to allow another big media merger. This time, it's AT&T and DirecTV. Yesterday, the board of AT&T voted to acquire the satellite television company in a deal worth almost $50 billion. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports that the hope is to be a stronger competitor against the likes of Verizon and Comcast.

Entrepreneur Andy Krafsur raised money for Spira Footwear by reaching out to friends and family. But that was a dozen years ago. After the economy tanked, the common tactic became a lot more difficult.

"The pool of people that you can go to has shrunken significantly," Krafsur says, "and everybody goes to those same people."

Then Krafsur found a crowdfunding website that helped his cash flow enormously. The Securities and Exchange Commission is about to approve rules allowing small businesses to reach out to investors through these kinds of crowdfunding networks.

Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce player in China. The Internet conglomerate is filing papers in the U.S. for what could be the biggest IPO ever.

Warren Buffett is under fire for not opposing Coca-Cola's executive compensation plan more aggressively. Buffett spoke about his decision at a shareholder meeting for his company Berkshire Hathaway.

One year ago Thursday, an eight-story factory building in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The disaster at Rana Plaza brought new attention to safety conditions in the country's booming garment industry.

In the year since then, some of the world's biggest retailers have begun inspecting Bangladesh's factories more aggressively. But in other ways efforts to reform the industry have fallen short.

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The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing some sweeping changes so the past few days, some major deals have been announced. The first involving a trio of big named companies: GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Ely Lily. The second is a proposed deal between Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals and California's Allergan, the maker of Botox. That deal is valued at $45 billion. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping — sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues.

Recently, MIT professor Michelle Hanlon and two colleagues set out to find out all they could about round-tripping.

Comcast and Time Warner executives ran into stiff opposition as they pitched their proposed merger to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The deal would give the combined company a large share of both pay TV and broadband internet service markets. In both cases, lawmakers wanted to know how consumers would be affected.

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Five and a half years after the financial crisis that devastated the global economy, U.S. officials are taking steps to strengthen the nation's banking system. Today, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approved tough new rules that require banks to hold a lot more capital on their books. Regulators say the requirements will reduce the risk of bank failures during bad economic times.

The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed this week that they're both investigating the world of high-frequency stock trading. They did so at a time when a new book on the subject, Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, is causing an uproar on Wall Street.

To read Lewis' book is to be reminded of how drastically the stock market has changed in a decade — and how opaque it remains. Lewis says this opacity serves to cover up some disturbing developments.

Caterpillar executives are on Capitol Hill answering questions about the company's tax returns. Caterpillar is accused of shifting money abroad to avoid billions in taxes. Company officials say Caterpillar has followed the law.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The crisis in Ukraine is raising new questions about Russia's role in the energy markets. Moscow has long used exports of oil and natural gas to win political concessions from countries on its borders. Europe gets a quarter of its natural gas from Russia.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, that's making a lot of people there nervous.

Five of Bernie Madoff's former employees were found guilty of helping him fleece investors of $17 billion. They were convicted on charges of securities fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion.

Herbalife shares dropped on news the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company. After shorting Herbalife's stock, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman's been lobbying politicians to investigate.

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Top executives at one of Switzerland's biggest banks said today they're sincerely trying to prevent tax evasion by U.S. citizens. They also said conflicting laws in the two countries make it almost impossible to do that. The chief executive of Credit Suisse appeared before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has been looking into the use of secret Swiss bank accounts by Americans.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Netflix is hoping that a deal it has struck with Comcast will mollify some of its unhappy customers. The company announced yesterday that it will pay to connect Comcast's broadband network more directly. That means Netflix customers should get faster, smoother access to programs like "House of Cards." The deal could serve as a model to help the company resolve disputes with other big Internet service providers.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

Suzie Felber's kids are only just learning what a commercial is.

"They start screaming when they come on," she says. "They think the TV's broken."

The Felbers usually stream television shows over the Internet in their New Jersey home.

More and more people are following suit, using services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. But these programs take up a huge amount of digital bandwidth, and that's led to a dispute between these services and the Internet service providers that carry them.

Slower Service

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A top executive at the retail chain Target went to Capitol Hill today to try to explain the massive security breach that hit the company in December. Hackers stole personal information of tens of millions of Target customers during the holiday shopping season. The incident has underscored the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals and the vulnerability of big retailers. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more on the hearing.

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The stock market had one of its worst days in months today after some disappointing news about manufacturing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points, about two percent. The other major indexes were down even more.

NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us investors are reacting to new concern about the health of the global economy.

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After losing a lot of ground, stock prices were back up a bit today. Investor anxiety about the state of the world's currency markets seemed to ease. The current turmoil is reminiscent of the 1997 currency crisis in Asia, which hurt economies all over the world.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, there are also some big differences.

A new study finds that contrary to widespread belief, it's no harder to climb the economic ladder in the United States today than it was 20 years ago.

But the study did find that moving up that ladder is still a lot more difficult in the U.S. than in other developed countries.

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After a slow start, the Affordable Care Act is now attracting customers at a healthier pace. The government said yesterday that 2.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the state and federal exchanges. But there's a serious red flag. A disproportionate number of new enrollees are middle aged or older.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli on what that means for the program and for insurers.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges accusing the bank of ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme.

Target is trying to get back in its customers' good graces after a massive data breach affecting some 40 million credit and debit account holders. The giant retail chain offered its customers a 10 percent discount over the weekend as an act of atonement, but business was said to be down anyway.

The breach affected customers who used their credit and debit cards at one of Target's 1,750 stores during a three-week period after Thanksgiving.

Ireland was one of the countries hardest hit by Europe's debt crisis. On Sunday, it passed a big milestone when the nation became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

After three years of the bailout program, it isn't hard to find signs of improvement in Ireland and of an economy coming back from the dead.

"Don't get me wrong, it's been bad in a lot of ways, but there's a silver lining in every cloud," says Conor Mulhall, a 41-year-old father of three.

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Officials of 159 countries have taken a big step forward in promoting global trade. This happened over the weekend at World Trade Organization talks in Indonesian.

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Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The countries attending the WTO meeting agreed to a treaty that they say will lower trade barriers and speed up the passage of goods across borders. Officials say the deal could increase global trade by nearly a trillion dollars over time and also create millions of jobs.

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A commuter train derailed as it was heading into Manhattan this morning, killing four people and injuring more than 60. Witnesses say the train appeared to be going too fast as it rounded a curve just north of a train station in the Bronx. The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to piece together what happened.

Saturday is the day the Obama administration promised it would have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for the majority of people who need to sign up for health insurance.

As the Obama administration scrambles to fix the glitch-plagued site, experts are beginning to worry about another problem that may further impair the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

The retail company Men's Wearhouse has announced it is launching a takeover battle for rival Joseph A. Bank. What makes the effort unusual is that just last month Joseph A. Bank was trying to take over Men's Wearhouse. The turnaround is an example of what Wall Street calls a Pac-Man defense.

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