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.

President Trump is preparing to overhaul the nation's tax code, and at least some of the coming changes could benefit his own bottom line. Critics say voters should be able to see just how much help the president might get from a revised tax code, so they are stepping up efforts to force him to share his tax returns.

Seeing the returns would reveal some key facts about the president's finances, says Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.

The Trump Organization is shutting down its New York-based modeling agency.

A statement released by the company said it was "choosing to exit the modeling industry."

"While we enjoyed many years of success, we are focussed on our core business in the real estate and golf industries and the rapid expansion of our hospitality division," the statement said.

Started in 1999, Trump Model Management was part of Trump's eclectic array of businesses, though it was never as visible as some of the others and didn't play a major role in the fashion business.

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Angela Chen makes money hawking her ties to important people, running a consulting firm that helps companies connect with Asia's power players.

So it inevitably attracted notice when Chen spent nearly $16 million recently to buy a four-bedroom Park Avenue penthouse owned by President Trump himself.

The February deal, which was first reported by Mother Jones, underscores one of the problems posed by Trump's ongoing business interests.

President Trump has made clear he doesn't like the alternative minimum tax, a complex federal levy that will hit some 4.8 million taxpayers this year.

A two-page tax return, filed by Trump for 2005 and revealed Tuesday, may suggest one reason. Because of the AMT, Trump was required to pay about $38 million in taxes on income of more than $150 million that year.

Without it, Trump's bill would have been a lot lower.

Donald Trump and his wife Melania earned about $150 million in 2005 and paid federal taxes of about $38 million, the White House said tonight.

The Trump administration made the revelation after copies of the tax returns anonymously were put in the mailbox of journalist David Cay Johnston.

The numbers have not been independently verified by NPR.

After purportedly stopping in at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's Palm Beach resort, not long ago, a visitor went straight to Google's online review site to complain about the restaurant ambience.

"Very loud and distracting dinner atmosphere," the visitor noted. "I just wanted a quiet peaceful meal, but White House staff and diplomats at the next table kept shouting out classified information."

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

With Congress showing no signs of taking action, a group of ethics watchdogs is turning to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to look into whether President Trump's many business interests violate the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway acted "inadvertently" when she urged shoppers to buy Ivanka Trump's products on Fox and Friends last month and won't make the same mistake again, the Trump administration says.

Office of Government Ethics Director Walter M. Shaub Jr. is recommending an investigation and possible disciplinary action be taken against Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Trump, for urging shoppers to buy fashion products sold by Trump's daughter Ivanka.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Trump, may have violated federal ethics rules Thursday when she urged shoppers to buy Ivanka Trump's retail brand, following the decision by several retail companies to drop the line because of poor sales.

"Go buy Ivanka's stuff, is what I was [saying] — I hate shopping and I'm going to go get some myself today," Conway said in an interview on Fox & Friends.

The Defense Department's plan to lease space in Manhattan's Trump Tower is already raising ethical concerns, with critics saying it would give the nation's chief executive another way to profit off his new role.

"It creates the appearance that President Trump, through his businesses, may directly benefit financially from charging the Department of Defense to do its job," says Meredith McGehee, chief of policy, programs and strategy at Issue One, a nonprofit that works to remove money from politics.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign had many unusual aspects, not the least of which was the huge amount of money it funneled into Trump's own businesses.

And now there's a new twist: Such payments can continue indefinitely because he's already declared himself a candidate for re-election in 2020.

President Trump may be breaking many of the rules in Washington, but the tradition of secret-money politics shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

A half-dozen of Trump's campaign aides have formed a nonprofit group called America First Policies to support and promote the president's agenda, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Leaders in the U.S. technology sector say President Trump's executive order banning immigrants from some Muslim-majority countries will sow confusion in their businesses and undercut the diversity that has been a linchpin of the industry's growth.

The CEOs of Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple all issued statements condemning the ban and complaining that the order was pushed through so quickly it left great uncertainty about the status of some of their best employees.

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

A team of ethics experts and legal scholars filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday morning that says President Trump's overseas businesses violate the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which bars presidents from taking money from foreign governments.

No evidence exists so far that President Trump or his elder daughter has taken steps to sever ties with their businesses, despite promises to do so by Inauguration Day, ProPublica has reported.

A top aide to President Donald Trump says he won't release his tax returns, insisting that voters aren't concerned about the issue.

"The White House response is he's not going to release his tax returns," said Trump's senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, on ABC's "This Week."

"We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care," Conway added.

These days, plenty of consulting firms make money peddling advice on cybersecurity. Only one is run by a man designated special adviser to the president of the United States.

Earlier this month, President-elect Donald Trump named former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who heads a cybersecurity practice at the Miami-based law firm Greenberg-Traurig, as his chief adviser on cybersecurity issues.

Some prominent conservatives have signed on to a letter warning President-elect Donald Trump that he needs to sell off his businesses to address his many conflicts of interest.

"Respectfully, you cannot serve the country as president and also own a world-wide business enterprise, without seriously damaging the presidency," says a letter sent Monday by a bipartisan group of politicians, ethics advocates and academics.

As Donald Trump prepares to become president, he's promising to explain how he'll deal with the many conflicts of interest posed by his businesses and charitable foundation, even as he insists they pose "no big deal."

But short of selling his properties and putting the proceeds in a blind trust, it's not clear that Trump can completely resolve the controversies over his many businesses.

President-elect Donald Trump insists he can do all the business deals he wants while serving in the White House, but a 2012 law barring insider trading by government officials could make doing so a lot more complicated.

Trump Tower, the building that President-elect Donald Trump calls home, bills itself as "one of the world's elite luxury residences, catering to public figures, athletes, celebrities and other affluent sophisticates."

These days, some other people have taken up residence there as well: Secret Service agents.

Trump has said that his family won't move into the White House right away and will remain, for a few months at least, in the world-famous steel-and-glass office and residential building where they occupy three floors.

President-elect Donald Trump should divest himself of his vast business interests in order to avoid conflicts of interest while in the White House, according to a letter from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Moreover, transferring ownership of his businesses to his grown children wouldn't go far enough to address the conflicts, the letter said.

President-elect Donald Trump suggested Sunday that he will not sell off his business operations to avoid conflicts of interest during his presidency. He said he will instead allow his grown children to manage them.

"My executives will run it with my children. It's a big company. It's a great company. But I'm going to have nothing to do with management," Trump told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

He was a flamboyant, alpha-male billionaire who said things no career politician ever would — someone who promised to use his business savvy to reform the system and bring back jobs. Voters believed that his great wealth insulated him from corruption, because he couldn't be bought.

But his administration was marked by criminal investigations and crony capitalism.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Wilbur Ross Jr., a billionaire investor and turnaround specialist, as his commerce secretary.

Ross announced his selection Wednesday during a joint CNBC interview with longtime Wall Street banker Steve Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury secretary.

"Wilbur Ross is a champion of American manufacturing and knows how to help companies succeed," Trump said in a statement announcing his choice.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation has acknowledged in a tax filing that it violated the ban against "self-dealing," or using its assets to help its leader's business or personal interests, The Washington Post reported.

A spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump is denying a report that Trump asked Argentina's president for help with a construction project during a congratulatory telephone call after Trump's Nov. 8 victory.

When comedian Bill Maher offered $5 million to Donald Trump if he could prove he wasn't the son of an orangutan, Trump did something he's done many times before: He sued.

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