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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5:51am

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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5:20pm

Fri April 27, 2012
Economy

Mixed Signals: Weaker Growth, Higher Profits

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 6:05 pm

Consumers spent more than expected in the first quarter of 2012, partly because they dipped into their savings, but businesses spent less.
Don Ryan AP

The U.S. economy lost some steam during the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department said Friday that growth slowed to just 2.2 percent, down from 3 percent at the end of last year.

The good news was that the economy continued to grow during the first quarter of the year. But anyone who was waiting for growth to kick into a higher gear was disappointed once again. One reason for that was a slowdown in business investment — companies spent less on new equipment and software even though profits were surprisingly strong.

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4:10am

Fri April 27, 2012
Europe

Dilemma For European Banks: Clean Books Or Lend?

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 9:35 am

Many of the most troubled European banks, like the French-Belgian Dexia, lost money in subprime mortgages and Greek bonds.
Yves Logghe AP

The walls of the Clock Shop in downtown Frankfurt, Germany, are lined with timepieces of every kind, from cuckoo clocks to digital watches. It's a testament to the store's 55-year history as a functioning business.

One of the things that has remained constant for much of that time is the store's relationship with its bank, owner Basia Szlomowicz says.

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4:42am

Mon April 23, 2012
Europe

State-Owned German Banks Suffer After Risky Investments

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:19 am

Unlike the United States, Germany never had a housing bubble. Its mortgage market is too tightly regulated. But some German banks did lose a lot of money in the financial crisis, and they're still paying a big price for it.

3:01am

Tue April 17, 2012
Presidential Race

Did Obama's Policies Help, Or Hinder, The Economy?

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:14 am

President Obama signs the economic stimulus bill in February 2009, as Vice President Biden looks on. Experts disagree over the impact of the administration's economic policies on the recession.
Darin McGregor AP

The 2012 presidential election is approaching, and President Obama's fate may hinge on how well the economy fares over the coming months.

On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been highlighting the economy's weaknesses. The former Massachusetts governor has made a similar claim about the president, and the recession, at almost every campaign stop.

"I don't blame the president for the downturn," Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire earlier this year. "He didn't cause it. But he made it worse and made it last longer."

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4:00am

Wed April 11, 2012
Business

Would The Buffett Rule Help The U.S. Economy?

President Obama makes a case for the tax proposal dubbed the "Buffett rule" Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Marc Serota Getty Images

A tax-the-rich proposal named after Warren Buffett has little chance of passing this year, but that hasn't stopped the debate over what impact it would have.

Some economists are skeptical that a 30 percent minimum tax on people with million-dollar incomes — known as the "Buffett rule" — would do much to reduce the deficit or boost the economy. But the Obama administration says the proposal is necessary to make the tax code more equitable.

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8:00am

Sat April 7, 2012
NPR Story

Unemployment Fell, But More Ended Job Hunt

Just when it seemed to be gaining steam, the U.S. job market pretty much stalled in March. Employers added a net 120,000 jobs during the month, defying the higher expectations of a lot of economists. And though the unemployment rate fell, it did so for the wrong reasons.

Over the past few months, the economy has been adding jobs at a good, if not spectacular, pace, and all the signs suggested that trend had continued through March. As it happened, jobs increased at a rate that barely keeps up with population growth.

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2:50pm

Tue April 3, 2012
Business

City Rents Rise As Buyers Wait Out Housing Bust

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

The Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complexes in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The turmoil in the housing market over the past few years has scared a lot of people away from homeownership. That means many people who can afford to buy are now renting. With so much demand for apartments, rents are once again on the rise. And in places like New York City, they're near record highs.

A few weeks ago Lauren Weitz got her first apartment in the city. Every night when she gets home from the office, she upholds a New York City tradition.

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3:54am

Thu March 29, 2012
Business

Former MF Global Exec Takes 5th At Hearing

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 11:28 am

Former MF Global Holdings Ltd. Chairman and CEO Jon Corzine testified on Capitol Hill in December. On Wednesday, a former executive at the company refused to answer lawmakers' questions about events in the run-up to the firm's collapse.
Susan Walsh AP

A former executive at the center of the meltdown of brokerage firm MF Global appeared before Congress on Wednesday to answer questions from lawmakers. Members of the House Financial Services Committee were hoping assistant treasurer Edith O'Brien would explain the actions of the firm's CEO, ex-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.

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5:53pm

Wed March 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Republicans Charge High Gas Prices Part Of A Plan To Decrease Consumption

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 8:23 am

A driver pumps gas into his Toyota Prius hybrid at a gas station in Sunnyvale, Calif., in 2007.
Paul Sakuma AP

As gasoline prices rise, some Republicans are making a provocative claim about President Obama. They say higher energy prices are actually part of the administration's agenda and they point to some comments made by the president before he took office.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the latest Republican to make the charge about President Obama, and he did so on Fox News Sunday this past weekend, saying, "There's no question that when he ran for office he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up."

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5:54pm

Tue March 13, 2012
Economy

Federal Reserve Releases Bank 'Stress Test'

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Federal Reserve has released the results of its much-anticipated stress test of the nation's biggest banks. The Fed says most of the nation's 19 biggest financial institutions passed the tests, although four did not. To find out what this means, we turn to NPR's Jim Zarroli. Jim, first, why is the Fed running stress tests? What are they supposed to show about the banks?

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5:34pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Rick Santorum

Economic Conservatives Question Santorum's Record

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 6:12 pm

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum addresses an election night party in Steubenville, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Support for Rick Santorum's presidential campaign has been driven by his conservative stances on social issues. He has taken unyielding stands against abortion and same-sex marriage.

But on economic matters, his record is more mixed. And some conservatives say that on issues like government spending and trade, he has at times betrayed free-market principles.

For example, when Congress voted to approve the North American Free Trade Agreement — a cause dear to the hearts of conservatives — Santorum, then a Pennsylvania representative, was among those voting against it.

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5:37pm

Wed March 7, 2012
Europe

Uncertainty Looms As Greek Debt Deadline Nears

People walk past the Bank of Greece headquarters in Athens. Greece toughened its stance to push creditors to accept a debt swap and take heavy losses, just one day before the Thursday deadline for completion of the deal to avert default.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Stock prices rebounded somewhat Wednesday, one day after their biggest sell-off of the year. What caused prices to plunge Tuesday was an all-too-familiar problem: the Greek debt crisis.

European officials have cobbled together a deal to keep Greece from defaulting, and investors all over the world who hold Greek bonds are weighing their options. They're worried about what could happen if they reject the deal.

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3:41am

Mon March 5, 2012
Business

Are Tax Breaks The Right Move For Manufacturing?

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 10:51 am

A welder at Specialty Fab in North Lima, Ohio, works March 1 on a piece of a compressor skid frame that is bound for the Ohio Shale project. Manufacturing companies such as Specialty Fab could receive tax breaks if a proposal from the Obama administration goes through.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

The White House says restoring the U.S. manufacturing sector is an essential part of getting the economy back on track.

GOP candidate Rick Santorum wants to see tax breaks for manufacturing companies, and the Obama administration proposed something similar last week. But economists say tax breaks may not be the best way to help manufacturers right now.

Over the years, the steady loss of good factory jobs is a big reason why wages have stagnated for people who never went to college, says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

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1:01pm

Thu February 23, 2012
Business

Obama's Corporate Tax Cut Plan Faces Uphill Battle

Boeing employees work on a plane engine at the company's factory in Everett, Wash. The Obama administration's corporate tax cut proposal would offer even deeper cuts for U.S. manufacturers like Boeing.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

President Obama's plan to overhaul the nation's corporate tax system would sharply cut the taxes that U.S. companies pay. But it would also eliminate many of the loopholes that help them pare down what they owe.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the proposal unveiled Wednesday should appeal to both Democrats and Republicans, by doing what both sides "say is important to do ... which is lower the rate, broaden the base [and] eliminate the underbrush of unnecessary subsidies and loopholes and special provisions that complicate the tax code."

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12:01am

Mon February 20, 2012
Business

Bondholders To Take A Hit In Greece Bailout Plan

European finance ministers are expected to vote on the latest $171 billion bailout package for Greece Monday. The package needs to be approved so Greece can make payments on bonds that come due a month from now. Even if the bailout is approved, it is likely to be only a temporary solution to Greece's troubles.

Across the Atlantic in New York, Hans Humes likes to ride his bike from his home in Brooklyn to his office at Greylock Capital Management in Manhattan. On a recent morning he showed up for our interview still carrying his bike helmet.

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