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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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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12:00pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Does Contraception Really Pay For Itself?

Birth control will be paid for by employees' insurance companies, if their employers refuse to do so.
istockphoto.com

Last week, President Barack Obama announced that religious groups won't have to pay for contraceptive services themselves. Instead, the cost would be borne by their insurance companies.

That compromise has raised a whole new set of questions on its own, though.

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5:00pm

Thu February 9, 2012
NPR Story

Comparing The Candidates Tax Plans

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:00 pm

GOP presidential candidates (from left) Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul place their hands over their hearts during the national anthem at the start of a debate in Florida last month.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Cutting taxes is part of the DNA of the modern Republican Party. All four of the remaining GOP candidates for president have proposed steep cuts in business and personal taxes, and it sometimes seems like Republicans are competing to show the most enthusiasm for tax cuts.

At a debate last month, former Sen. Rick Santorum said tax cuts were needed to get the economy thriving again — even if they benefit the wealthy.

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6:52am

Wed January 25, 2012
NPR Story

Tax Returns Show Romney's Complicated Fiances

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney earned more than $42 million over the past two years — the bulk of it from an array of stocks and investment funds. And he paid about 15 percent of what he made in taxes. The release of some 500 pages of tax returns give a much fuller picture of how he made his money and what he did with it.

5:17pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Economy

States' Fiscal Future Starts To Look A Bit Brighter

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 7:19 pm

In 2010, Arizona sold 22 buildings in its state capitol complex to help deal with budget deficits. Gov. Jan Brewer recently asked representatives to buy back three of the buildings, including the State House of Representatives (right), as the state's financial situation has improved. The Old Arizona Capitol Building (left) was not part of the deal.
Ross D. Franklin AP

As the U.S. economy struggled to get back on its feet over the past few years, a lot of states found themselves contending with big budget deficits. They responded by firing workers, raising taxes and cutting spending. Now the fiscal picture for a lot of states is brightening a bit — but many still face enormous challenges.

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3:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

A Digital Death? Why Kodak Stopped Clicking

Originally published on Sat January 7, 2012 1:11 am

Kodak's Steven J. Sasson holds the world's first digital camera, which he built in 1975, at Kodak headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., in 2005. The company is now trying to sell about a thousand patents for digital photography to prevent bankruptcy.
David Duprey AP

The end could soon be near for Kodak, and the iconic film manufacturer may have itself to blame.

Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., could be headed into bankruptcy over the next few weeks. The company has seen its profits plunge in recent years, largely because of the popularity of digital cameras.

Kodak is trying to move into new product lines like inkjet printers, but in the meantime it's attempting to raise cash by selling off some of the patents it's developed over the years.

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2:17pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Economy

Even Finish Masks Volatile Year For U.S. Economy

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 6:16 pm

A trader walks in New York City's financial district on Sept. 12, a day when stocks fell early based on fears that the Greek government would default, then rallied on news that China might buy Italian debt. This year, what sent the market into a tailspin often took place overseas.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

2011 was a year of crisis and revolution, and that took a big toll on the world's financial markets. In the United States, stocks lurched along for much of the year, losing and gaining ground over and over again.

Stock prices are ending the year just about where they were at the beginning, and anyone who invested in anything but the bluest of blue chip stocks probably didn't make much money. And yet, the flat trend lines masked a huge amount of volatility, says Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank.

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4:00am

Tue December 27, 2011
Europe

Rotterdam Port Feels Effects Of European Debt Crisis

As the debt crisis spreads across Europe, the economy in the region is slowing to a crawl. One place that's starting to feel the impact of the slowdown is the massive port of Rotterdam in Holland. It's the biggest port in the world outside Asia. Much of what's bought and sold in Europe goes through Rotterdam.

10:56am

Mon December 19, 2011
Europe

Tied To Trade, Dutch Economy Falls With The Tide

The flower auction house in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, is one of the largest in the world — and a part of the country's strong export base. As Europe's debt crisis continues, the Dutch economy is feeling the effects of being heavily reliant on world trade.
Pan Zhi Xinhua /Landov

The debt crisis in Europe got under way in small, heavily indebted countries like Greece and Ireland, but these days it's also being felt in the wealthy heartland.

The Dutch government says the country probably slipped into a recession at the end of this year, and like other countries, it's having to consider budget cuts.

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6:26am

Sat December 17, 2011
Economy

SEC: Mortgage Execs Took Pains To Hide Risky Loans

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 1:10 pm

Robert Khuzami (right), director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division, announces that the SEC is charging six former top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Ever since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the government in 2008, questions have swirled over who was responsible for their collapse. Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission weighed in, filing fraud charges against former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd, former Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron and four other former executives.

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3:00pm

Fri December 9, 2011
NPR Story

E.U. Moves Ahead With Economic Reforms Package

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 6:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary. European officials are moving ahead today with a new package of economic reforms. That's after a long night of talks in Brussels. The effort to address the unyielding debt crisis has threatened European unity and one important country, the United Kingdom, has refused to sign off on the reforms. More on that in a moment, but first we hear about the new rules from NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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4:00am

Thu December 8, 2011
Europe

High Stakes For Europe, World Economy In Brussels

France and Germany are trying to persuade other European countries to sign onto a package of reforms aimed at shoring up the embattled euro. They're hoping to win agreement in time for Friday's big summit of European leaders in Brussels. A failure to reach agreement could send the wrong signal to the financial markets, which are already deeply worried about Europe's fiscal problems.

4:56am

Tue November 29, 2011
Law

Judge Rejects Citigroup, SEC Settlement

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 12:16 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In New York, yesterday, a federal judge rejected a settlement of a fraud case involving Citigroup. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought charges against the bank, had agreed to the $285 million deal. But Judge Jed Rakoff said he didn't believe the settlement was in the public interest. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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3:48pm

Thu November 24, 2011
Europe

Avoiding The Tax Man Could Cost Italians Dearly

As the European debt crisis drags on, one question being asked is what will happen to Italy. The new government of Prime Minister Mario Monti is struggling to convince the financial markets that the country has a plan to pay its debts. Among other things, Monti says he will do something about Italy's long tradition of tax evasion, which is considered somewhat of a national sport.

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4:00am

Wed November 23, 2011
Business

Merck To Settle Charges Vioxx Was Improperly Promoted

Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 4:56 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The pharmaceutical company Merck has agreed to pay nearly a billion dollars to settle charges that it illegally marketed its painkiller, Vioxx. The drug was taken off the market in 2004 after questions were raised about its safety. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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12:01am

Mon November 21, 2011
Business

Small Businesses Feel Crunch Of Italy's Debt Woes

Enrico Frare owns a small clothing company in Italy. He says it's so difficult to get credit in Italy right now some businesses are being forced to leave.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Enrico Frare isn't a well known name in Italian business. The 36-year-old runs E-group, a small clothing company in the commercial region around Treviso that makes winter sportswear.

But last month, Frare did something that attracted a lot of attention. He bought a full-page ad in Milan's main newspaper appearing in what might politely be called his birthday suit. The caption read: "Every day in Italy an entrepreneur risks losing his shirt."

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2:56pm

Wed November 16, 2011
Europe

Europe's Debt Crisis Moves Toward Bigger Economies

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 6:02 pm

With every day that passes, the troubles in Europe seem to grow bigger, and leaders are still at odds over how to contain the crisis. On Wednesday, just about every country in Europe saw borrowing costs rise.

For a long time the crisis was limited to small peripheral countries like Ireland and Greece, but no longer. Now, countries like Italy, Austria and the Netherlands have seen their borrowing costs rise as well.

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7:52am

Sun October 30, 2011
Economy

Where Europe's Bailout Falls Short

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 4:23 pm

Over the next few weeks, European leaders have a big task ahead of them. They have to begin fleshing out that big bailout plan unveiled to so much fanfare in Brussels this week. The plan represents the most comprehensive effort so far to resolve Europe's grinding debt problems, which have done so much damage to the world's financial markets this year, but some issues may require a global effort to solve.

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3:00pm

Thu October 13, 2011
Economy

Rajaratnam Sentenced To 11 Years

Convicted insider trader Raj Rajaratnam was sentenced to 11 years in prison Thursday. Rajaratnam was a founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund.

12:01am

Tue October 11, 2011
Economy

Recession Nips At The Heels Of A Slow-Poke Recovery

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 7:05 pm

The Labor Department announced last week that the U.S. economy grew by just 103,000 jobs in September. A number like that isn't even enough to keep up with population growth. The fact that the report was widely greeted as positive news suggests just how low expectations have sunk this year.

Since January, the U.S. economy has been hit by a series of external shocks that brought a modest recovery nearly to a halt. The slowdown, however, may have been under way even before the shocks took place.

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4:19am

Wed September 28, 2011
Herman Cain

Cain's Catchy 9-9-9 Tax Plan Draws Interest, Doubters

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday. He won a GOP straw poll there with 37 percent of the vote.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Last weekend, pizza magnate Herman Cain did something that surprised the political world: He came in first in a Florida GOP presidential straw poll.

One way Cain has attracted the attention of Republican voters is with what he calls his 9-9-9 plan. It's a cleverly marketed idea for changing the nation's tax code.

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4:12am

Sun September 11, 2011
Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001

After Burn Injuries, Sept. 11 Survivor Shows 'Strength'

Lauren and Greg Manning stand with their sons Jagger and Tyler (right) at the Central Park Zoo in 2010. Manning became a symbol of survival after the Sept. 11 attacks, where she suffered burns on more than 80 percent of her body.
Courtesy Lauren Manning

No company suffered on Sept. 11 as much as the bond broker Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost 658 people. One of the few employees to survive that day was Lauren Manning, who was in the lobby of the World Trade Center's North Tower when the first plane hit.

Manning had been rushing to an elevator and was instantly engulfed in flames that came into the lobby, leaving her with burns on more than 80 percent of her body.

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3:14pm

Thu August 25, 2011
Business

A 'Good Deal' For BofA, A 'Great Deal' For Buffett

Warren Buffett came to the rescue of Bank of America, the giant financial services company that faces a range of legal and financial problems. Buffett said Thursday he would invest $5 billion in the company and could buy more shares down the road. Buffett's decision to buy into Bank of America sent its share price higher, though the company still has to contend with big challenges.

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3:00pm

Fri August 19, 2011
Business

Is Computer-Driven Trading Causing Market Spikes?

Some market analysts are pointing to high-frequency and computer-driven trading as the source of increased volatility in the markets. They say it's time to restore the uptick rule, which was eliminated just a couple of years ago.

2:52pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Business

Companies Sit On Cash; Reluctant To Invest, Hire

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 9:40 pm

Google plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. At the end of 2010, Google was sitting on nearly $35 billion, and it's not alone.
Paul Sakuma AP

Google's plans to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion might seem like a lot of money, but the Web giant can easily afford it. At the end of last year, Google was sitting on nearly $35 billion in cash.

And it's not alone. The U.S. economy may be slowing to a crawl, but a lot of individual companies are richer than ever. They're being cautious about how they spend their cash, though.

"Companies are generating and maintaining more cash than they have aggregate uses for," says Rick Lane, a senior vice president at Moody's.

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6:37am

Sat August 13, 2011
Economy

Nonprofits Watch Anxiously As Market Wobbles

Henry Street Settlement provides a range of social services for low-income New Yorkers, including a summer day camp for children. Corporate donations to the agency fell off after the 2008 financial crisis.
Will Deitz Henry Street Settlement

The turmoil on Wall Street threatens to wreak financial havoc on a lot of people and institutions — including the country's 1.2 million nonprofits. Charities of all sizes are only beginning to recover from the recession. Now many are wondering how they'll survive another market plunge.

Camp Henry on Manhattan's Lower East Side is run by the venerable Henry Street Settlement, which provides a range of social services for low-income New Yorkers. Executive Director David Garza says after the 2008 financial crisis, corporate donations to the agency fell off.

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5:25pm

Wed August 10, 2011
Economy

Fed May Need To Find New Tricks Up Its Sleeve

The Federal Reserve has issued one of its gloomiest pronouncements about the economy in a long time: It says it sees little prospect that growth will rebound much anytime soon, and that it's ready to keep interest rates low for the next two years.

The recent downturn leaves Fed officials without any of its obvious ways of fixing the economy, and analysts say it may need to try steps it hasn't taken before.

Joe Gagnon spent part of his career as a Fed economist, and Tuesday he saw something he thought he'd never see at the central bank.

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