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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5:42pm

Fri November 16, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Seaside After Sandy: Is Rebuilding Worth It?

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 8:07 pm

Ernest Shallo, of Carteret, N.J., throws a ruined air conditioner onto a pile of debris in front of a small home in Seaside Heights, N.J. Residents were allowed back in their homes for a few hours Monday, two weeks after the region was pounded by Superstorm Sandy.
Mel Evans AP

Ever since Hurricane Sandy ripped through the New Jersey coast, some of the hardest-hit towns have been closed altogether. Authorities say gas leaks and unstable buildings have made them too risky to visit.

This week, residents were allowed to enter Seaside Heights for a few hours each day to get a firsthand look at the damage. Many are struggling with whether to rebuild their homes.

Weighing The Cost

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3:33am

Tue November 13, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

Beach Towns Mourn Sandy-Ravaged Boardwalks

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 1:15 pm

Waves break Oct. 31 in front of a destroyed amusement park wrecked by Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Hurricane Sandy left a long trail of destruction across the New Jersey shoreline. And it did a lot more than just flood houses.

In towns like Seaside Heights and Belmar, Sandy wiped out the boardwalks that line the beach. In places like these, boardwalks served as the commercial center knitting the towns together, and residents are wondering where to go from here.

Until two weeks ago, the boardwalk was the place to hang out in Belmar, N.J. Ann Summer was walking along the water with her husband this weekend.

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8:48am

Wed November 7, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

In Storm-Ravaged N.J. Town, A Scramble At The Polls

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 10:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And it was no ordinary Election Day either in Belmar, New Jersey, one of the beach towns that was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Some of the regular polling places were flooded out and town officials had to come up with new ways to get voters to the polls. NPR's Jim Zarolli reports.

JIM ZAROLLI, BYLINE: These days the Belmar Town Hall has been turned into a kind of rescue center for displaced residents, a place where they can get food and clothing. And yesterday they could vote, too.

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5:38pm

Fri November 2, 2012
Around the Nation

After The Storm, Staten Islanders Share The Misery

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 1:35 pm

Steve Santo stands in the kitchen of his house on the south side of the New York City borough of Staten Island on Friday.
Mike Segar Reuters/Landov

Much of the worst damage from Superstorm Sandy happened in New York's less touristy outer boroughs.

Some neighborhoods have been changed forever by the storm. Staten Island saw half of the city's fatalities. On Friday, residents sorted through waterlogged belongings and tried to figure out next steps.

Rosemarie Caruso lives a block from the water on the eastern shore of Staten Island. She says there have been hurricanes before and all they brought was a little flooding. She figured she could ride out Sandy.

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5:16pm

Tue October 30, 2012
Around the Nation

Rising Waters Leave Some Trapped in Moonachie, N.J.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Hurricane Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey and left a path of destruction all the way up the state. Just across the river from New York in Bergen County, water flowed over the top of a levee along the Hackensack River, and then it poured into the town of Moonachie.

NPR's Jim Zarroli went there today.

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6:19pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Business

Dow Falls 243 Points On Worst Day In Months

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:18 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Now, some business news. This past Friday and again today, the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 200 points. The drop occurred after several big U.S. companies turned in disappointing results. NPR's Jim Zarroli explains.

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5:06pm

Fri October 12, 2012
World

Do Chinese Tech Firms Pose U.S. Security Threat?

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:59 pm

Staff and visitors walk past the lobby at the Huawei office in Wuhan, China. Beijing has urged Washington to "set aside prejudices" after a draft congressional report said Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE were security threats that should be banned from business in the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Over the past decade, Chinese companies have become major players in the global telecommunications market. This week the House Intelligence Committee issued a report that could interrupt that growth. The committee warned American companies not to do business with two of China's main telecom manufacturers, saying they posed a security threat.

Huawei Technologies is the miracle story of the Chinese high-tech industry, says telecommunications consultant Roger Entner.

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3:42am

Thu October 4, 2012
The Salt

Despite Greek Economy, Athens Cupcake Business Thrives

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:19 am

Nicole Kotovos arranges cupcakes in the case at her store in Athens.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Nicole Kotovos was searching for a way to start a new life when the idea struck her: She would go to her ancestral homeland of Greece and open an American-style bakery cafe. She would bring the cupcake fad to Athens.

What she didn't figure on was the historic downturn in the Greek economy.

The former New York TV producer arrived in 2008, just as the country's debt-mired economy was falling into a deep recession it still hasn't emerged from.

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3:33pm

Wed September 26, 2012
The Salt

Greek Credit Crisis Forces Winemakers, Food Canners To Adapt

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

Winemakers like Stellios Boutaris, shown near his vineyard outside Naoussa, Greece, and other business leaders have been forced to pursue new financial tactics because credit is hard to come by.
Jim Zarroli NPR

When the economic crisis erupted in Greece and the bottom fell out of the domestic wine market, the Kir-Yianni vineyard outside picturesque Naoussa decided to adapt. Like other wineries in Greece, it has increasingly tapped the export market, successfully marketing and selling wine in Europe, the United States and even China.

"If you ask me, this crisis has been good for us," says Stellios Boutaris, the son of the company's founder. "It's going to make us stronger."

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4:52pm

Tue September 25, 2012
The Salt

Greek Olive Oil Woes Echo Country's Broader Economic Challenges

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

A Greek farmer drives home with his fresh pressed olive oil in barrels near Alyki, Greece. The country's pure olive oil is hard to find, expensive and poorly marketed, businessmen say.
Matthias Schrader AP

Greece is in the fifth year of a painful recession, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. One big problem the country faces is a shortage of strong companies that know how to compete on the world market. And nowhere is this more painfully apparent than in the challenges faced by the country's olive oil business.

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5:45am

Thu September 13, 2012
NPR Story

Austerity Tested In The Netherlands

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a boost for the euro.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Opponents of the European currency have been dealt a big setback in the Netherlands. The center-right Liberal Party, which favors remaining in the eurozone, won the most seats in yesterday's parliamentary elections.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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5:24am

Thu September 6, 2012
Economy

European Central Bank To Meet On Interest Rates

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When the European Central Bank holds its monthly meeting today, investors around the world will be watching nervously to see what the bank's head, Mario Draghi, says about interest rates. Draghi was recently quoted as saying he would do whatever it takes to keep Europe's debt crisis from growing out of control, and that could go beyond just cutting borrowing rates.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, any European Central Bank plan to use its resources to prop up Europe's weaker economies will face strong opposition from the Germans.

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4:18pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Economy

Bernanke Supports Stimulus But Stays Quiet On Plans

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made it about as clear as he could today he favors additional steps to stimulate the economy. But he stopped short of saying when the Fed might take action. Bernanke spoke at an economic conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, he spent much of his time defending the steps the Fed has already taken to address the weak economy.

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3:25am

Mon August 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney's Plan To Broaden Tax Base Finds Critics

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 1:22 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., on July 10. Romney says he wants to sharply cut income tax rates, but that those cuts would be revenue-neutral.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he favors keeping all of the Bush-era tax cuts and then adding some more. To pay for these cuts, he would reduce or eliminate some of the tax deductions that many Americans have come to rely on. But his proposals are already facing a lot of resistance.

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5:35am

Wed August 15, 2012
Business

British Bank Settles Money Laundering Charges

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A British bank has agreed to settle charges that it illegally laundered Iranian money. The settlement with Standard Chartered was announced by New York banking regulators, who'd brought the charges just a week ago. The bank still is under investigation by the federal government. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

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5:51am

Sun August 12, 2012
Your Money

Some Small Investors Still Wary Of Betting On Wall St.

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:55 pm

Traders prepare for the start of early trading at the New York Stock Exchange. Some say there's been a loss of faith in the stock market's return on investment over the last 15 years.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Ten years ago, Andres Cortez, a chauffeur in Los Angeles, might have been part of the hordes of people dabbling in day trading or haunting the online stock forums. He might have been bragging to his friends about the money he made in tech stocks, or learning how to margin trade at a night school.

Instead, he keeps his distance from stocks.

As he stands by his car and waits for a passenger downtown, Cortez says he has a little money he's put aside and is keeping it in a savings account, where it earns virtually nothing.

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5:58pm

Wed August 8, 2012
Business

Tax Evaders Beware! Money's Getting Harder To Hide

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 3:51 pm

The U.S. government has been working for years to crack down on Americans dodging taxes overseas. In 2009, under intense pressure, the Swiss bank UBS released the names of its American customers.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has acknowledged that he had money in a Swiss bank account until 2010. Romney says he wasn't trying to hide the money, since he reported the account to the government.

Even so, he closed the account at a time when the federal government was in the middle of a major crackdown on offshore tax havens — a crackdown that has made it harder for Americans to hide their money overseas.

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4:42pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Economy

Despite Jobs Added, U.S. Unemployment Rose In July

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The job market is finally showing signs of improvement after months of disappointing numbers. The Labor Department said today that employers added 163,000 jobs to their payroll in July. That's the best performance since February. Of course, it wasn't all good news. With the jobs increase also came an uptick in the overall unemployment rate to 8.3 percent. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, that underscores just how tenuous the recovery remains.

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3:00am

Tue July 17, 2012
Economy

Romney's Plan To Revive Jobs Has Mixed Results

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:10 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks about job numbers July 6 at Bradley's Hardware in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Charles Dharapak AP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he can do better than President Obama at finding jobs for unemployed Americans. One way he would do that is by bringing back personal re-employment accounts.

When people lose their jobs, one of the first places they turn to is their state unemployment office, where they can sign up for unemployment benefits; they often can enroll in some kind of retraining class as well.

In 2004, the Bush administration conducted an experiment to begin privatizing a small part of the federal retraining program.

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5:09am

Fri July 13, 2012
Business

JPMorgan To Reveal Earnings, Trading Losses

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:26 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the biggest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, says it has lost $4.4 billion from its failed hedging strategy involving a secretive trader. That's more than twice the bank's earlier estimate. The company released its second-quarter earnings report this morning, and NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us now to talk about them. Jim, what is the company telling investors this morning about that money?

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5:08am

Wed July 4, 2012
Business

Ex-Barclays CEO To Appear Before British Panel

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 5:52 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a U.K. interest rate probe.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: The former chief executive of Barclays is testifying before a parliamentary committee in Britain. Bob Diamond, who resigned yesterday, is being asked about the rate-setting scandal at the bank. He told lawmakers in the hearing today that it was an unfortunate series of events. Yesterday, Barclays released documents suggesting a Bank of England official may have pressured Barclays to lower its rates. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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6:46am

Fri June 29, 2012
Business

Markets Caught Off Guard By Health Care Ruling

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Yesterday's ruling on health care took the financial markets by surprise. Stocks were mixed with some shares finishing the day sharply higher. By the end of the day, stock traders seemed to shrug off the ruling.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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3:03am

Fri June 8, 2012
Business

Despite Low Rates, Investors Rely On Treasurys

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 3:03 pm

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee Thursday that the U.S. economy faces some significant risks, and Fed officials are still deciding what to do about it.

His remarks disappointed a lot of investors who want the Fed to do something to revive growth. Bernanke spoke at a time when interest rates on government debt are hitting lows not seen since the Great Depression.

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5:03pm

Tue June 5, 2012
It's All Politics

How Accurate Is Obama's Attack On Romney's Jobs Record?

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 7:53 pm

Mitt Romney talks about his plan for creating jobs at a 2011 campaign speech in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

A new Obama campaign ad says the Massachusetts economy actually fared poorly during Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's four years as governor, challenging the notion that Romney knows how to fix the nation's ailing economy.

The ad says that between 2003 and 2007, Massachusetts had one of the worst economic records in the country, lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs at "a rate twice the national average, and fell to 47th in job creation."

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8:03am

Sun June 3, 2012
Economy

We Got The Jobs Report, Now What?

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 10:37 am

Friday's disappointing jobs report added to worries the recovery is in trouble. Only 69,000 new jobs were added to payrolls, and the unemployment rate moved higher, to 8.2 percent. Suddenly there is more talk about the Fed and what it might do to get the economy moving again. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

5:17pm

Wed May 30, 2012
It's All Politics

CEO In Chief? A Business Background Is Rare For Presidents

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:17 pm

Mitt Romney addresses the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit in Washington earlier this month.
Mary Altaffer AP

Republican Mitt Romney is running on the strength of his business background. He says he knows how to fix the economy, in part because of his success at Bain Capital. But history is not necessarily on Romney's side. Very few businesspeople have made it to the White House.

The transition from business to politics isn't necessarily an easy one.

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6:01am

Mon May 21, 2012
NPR Story

Ex-Goldman Director Faces Trial On Insider Trading Charges

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:58 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A giant of American business goes on trial in New York today. Rajat Gupta is accused of insider trading. He's the one-time chief executive of the consulting firm McKinsey and Company and a former board member of Goldman Sachs.

Prosecutors allege he passed on information about Goldman to billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who's already in prison for insider trading.

NPR's Jim Zarroli is covering this story from New York. Hi, Jim.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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5:14pm

Fri May 11, 2012
Business

Big Losing Bet Tarnishes Wall Street Titan JPMorgan

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon cited "many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment" in announcing a $2 billion loss due to a hedging strategy.
Mario Tama Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase is licking its wounds after announcing that it lost at least $2 billion in a hedging strategy that went terribly wrong. The announcement late Thursday sent the bank's shares tumbling more than 9 percent on Friday.

Meanwhile, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have begun looking into what happened. And there were calls Friday for tighter restrictions on the kind of trades the bank engaged in.

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5:29am

Fri May 11, 2012
Business

JPMorgan Chase Loses $2 Billion In Risky Trades

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 7:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

JPMorgan Chase has acknowledged losing at least $2 billion over the last six weeks in an investment strategy that went awry. The losses are a big embarrassment to a bank that's usually seen as one of the best-managed on Wall Street. And the incident is already prompting new calls for tighter restrictions on bank trading.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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6:43pm

Wed May 2, 2012
Europe

Investors Flee Spain As Economy Spirals Downward

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:44 am

People attend a demonstration in Madrid organized by unions against financial cuts in health and education on April 29.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

The news keeps getting worse for Spain. This week came word that the country has fallen back into recession. Meanwhile, Spain's unemployment rate is the highest in Europe. Investors are once again fleeing the country and interest rates on government debt are climbing.

The numbers coming out of Spain these days are stark. The economy contracted at a 0.3 percent rate during the first part of this year. Housing prices are down 21 percent from their peak, and unemployment is nearly 25 percent.

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