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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Business
5:50 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Bangladesh's Powerful Garment Sector Fends Off Regulation

Garment workers sew T-shirts at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2009. Bangladesh, the world's second-largest clothing exporter, has lured clothing makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:41 pm

Eight people died Wednesday in a fire at a Bangladeshi sweater factory. This follows the much deadlier collapse of the Rana Plaza building, where more than 900 people died.

The deaths are taking place in a garment sector that has seen explosive growth over the past three decades. The country has managed to lure clothing-makers through a combination of low wages and light regulation.

As a manufacturing center, Bangladesh has little to recommend it. The roads are poor. There's no port to speak of. The electricity is notoriously unreliable. It's politically unstable.

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Business
4:41 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Stocks Rise Despite Lackluster Corporate Earnings Reports

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 10:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. From understanding language, let's try to understand one development in the economy. Corporate revenues have been lackluster. But despite that, stock prices keep going up. This might have something to do with what the Federal Reserve has been up to. Hoping to get money into the economy and stimulate growth, the Fed has been aggressively buying bonds. And Fed officials said, after their two-day meeting ended yesterday, that they could even accelerate the bond purchases if necessary.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Around the Nation
5:00 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Life Still Far From Normal Six Months After Superstorm Sandy

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 5:48 pm

The Rockaways in Queens were one of the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy last year. Much of the beach disappeared and the boardwalk was destroyed. A lot of houses and businesses were damaged and some were without power until February. Now life is beginning to return to normal, but as summer approaches a lot of people are worried about how much has been lost.

Around the Nation
6:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Making Room: Can Smaller Apartments Help New York City Grow?

Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 8:16 pm

New York City is notoriously crowded, and it's only getting more so. The city estimates it will have 1 million more people by the year 2030, many of them single. Where to place all these newcomers is a major challenge.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced plans to put up an experimental building of micro-apartments that could be replicated throughout the city. And the Museum of the City of New York is looking at ways to make better use of the city's housing stock.

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Business
6:03 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Fake Tweet Causes Financial Markets To Drop

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: Hackers got into the Associated Press's Twitter account yesterday and sent out a fake tweet saying that the White House had been attacked. Though the tweet was discredited very quickly, it created a swift and panicked reaction on the stock market.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The tweet said that a pair of bombs had gone off in the White House and President Obama was injured. Almost instantaneously, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125 points.

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Business
5:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Despite Flaws, Harvard Economists Stand By Research

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 12:22 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Two prominent Harvard economists have admitted there are errors in an influential paper they wrote on government debt. This paper was widely cited in recent budget debates. But the economists insist their mistakes do not significantly change their research.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: In their 2010 paper, Ken Rogoff and Carmen Rinehart argued that economic growth falls significantly when a country's debt level rises above 90 percent of its Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

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Economy
6:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Sequester Pinches Long-Term Unemployed Even More

A crowd of jobseekers attends a health care job fair on Thursday in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

Almost 5 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they have been searching for work for at least six months.

This week, their plight is getting a bit tougher as the government cuts their unemployment benefits — part of the automatic reductions in federal spending that took effect recently.

On a recent day, about 40 people turned out at a Manhattan jobs center run by the New York Labor Department to get advice on looking for work. These are all people who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.

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Around the Nation
4:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Feds Ban Banks From Charging Homeowners Fees On 'Forced Insurance'

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Federal regulators are taking aim at a practice they say is forcing millions of struggling homeowners to pay higher insurance premiums. The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued an order today. It bars banks from charging lucrative fees and commissions on so-called lender-placed insurance policies. NPR's Jim Zarroli explains.

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Economy
6:50 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

As Cardinal, New Pope Walked Fine Line On Economic Issues

The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio walks outside the chapel during a Mass at the Barracas neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2003. Bergoglio, who became Pope Francis, is said to have the same position as his predecessors on economic matters.
AP

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:59 pm

He took his name from a 13th century saint who gave up his wealth and threw in his lot with the poor. As cardinal in Argentina, he eschewed the trappings of power and privilege, taking public transportation and even cooking his own meals.

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Business
4:47 am
Mon March 25, 2013

More Suitors Offer To Take Over Dell

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

The board of the computer company Dell is said to be weighing several takeover offers. The company's founder has allied with the private equity firm Silver Lake to take the company private.

NPR Story
5:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

JPMorgan In Hot Seat Over London Whale Losses

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
5:57 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

As States Embrace Online Gambling, Questions Arise

Internet gambling has become legal in New Jersey and Nevada, but experts say enforcement and regulations still need to be straightened out.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:35 pm

Several states are rushing to establish a foothold in online gambling — an activity that federal officials were only recently trying to ban.

Just a while ago, the federal government actually viewed online gambling as a crime. Lately, the Obama administration has taken a more permissive stance. It now allows states to sell lottery tickets online.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had expressed reservations about online gambling a month ago and had vetoed an earlier version of the bill. But in the end, the pressure to sign the legislation was just too great.

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Business
6:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:17 pm

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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Business
4:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

DOJ Sues S&P For Giving AAA Ratings To Risky Mortgage Investments

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:38 pm

The Justice Department may seek as much as $5 billion from Standard and Poor's. In a lawsuit filed Monday night, prosecutors accuse the firm of misleading investors with fraudulent credit ratings on dozens of different mortgage bonds. It's not yet clear whether federal officials plan to file a similar suit against the other big rating firms, Moody's and Fitch. Regulators would like to see the industry be more competitive and less dependent on the firms whose securities they are rating.

Business
6:26 am
Tue February 5, 2013

S&P To Face Fraud Suit Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The U.S. Justice Department plans to file a civil suit this week accusing the credit rating company Standard and Poor's of fraud. Standard and Poor's is the company that famously downgraded U.S. debt in 2011. This investigation focuses on S and P's actions before the financial crisis. The civil action accuses S and P of fraudulently inflating the ratings of mortgage investments, setting them up for the crash that lead to the great recession. The investigation is the focus of today's Business Bottom Line, and here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Economy
10:44 am
Wed January 30, 2013

In 4th Quarter, Economy Shrank For First Time Since '09

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Good morning.

Let's try again, shall we, to explain what it means when we hear that the U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. As we've discussed elsewhere in the program, the decline was slight - just one-tenth of a percentage point - but it is the first contraction of the economy since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009. NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us once again in New York. Jim, good morning.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Business
5:37 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Gun Makers Worry Revamped Laws Will Hurt Bottom Line

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 3:15 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You heard the president acknowledge that in some parts of the country - and more specifically, some congressional districts - gun ownership is stronger than in other parts of the country. He would need allies in those places to overcome or persuade the gun industry and its lobbying groups. Industry officials are ready to fight.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, some of the proposals, especially a ban on assault weapons, could take a bite out of gun-makers' revenue.

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Business
4:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Agrees To Beef Up Risk Management

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 6:06 am

Banking regulators are telling JPMorgan Chase that it must take action to improve its risk analysis and money-laundering controls. The bank racked up a $6 billion trading loss last year. CEO Jamie Dimon cited managerial lapses and called the loss inexcusable.

Business
5:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Looking Back On Bank Of America's Countrywide Debacle

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 8:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Five years ago today, Bank of America announced it was buying the troubled subprime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial for $40 billion. At the time, the financial crisis had not fully revealed itself, and many people thought Bank of America was getting a good deal. Instead, the acquisition has turned into a never-ending legal and financial nightmare. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Business
6:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Settlements Underscore Damage Done In Housing Crash

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news: Some of the biggest banks in the country have agreed to pay more than $18 billion to settle allegations of wrongdoing in their mortgage lending. That's today's "Business Bottom Line."

Bank of America said yesterday it would pay more than $10 billion to the mortgage company Fannie Mae because of bad loans sold during the housing boom. And in a separate settlement, 10 banks agreed to pay more than $8 billion in total, to settle claims that they made errors in foreclosing on people's homes. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Around the Nation
4:50 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

U.S. Unemployment Rate Held Steady In December

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We got a snapshot of the economy at the end of 2012 today. And if you are hoping for a big change in this morning's jobs report, the picture is probably disappointing. In short, it's more of the same.

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Economy
4:15 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Europe Fails To Stimulate Growth In 2012

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 12:52 pm

The U.S. economy grew at a steady though not very strong pace this year. But Europe slipped back into recession because of the ongoing debt crisis. European leaders took steps to stimulate growth, but it wasn't enough to reverse course.

The economic crisis that got under way five years ago was felt all over the world. But Mohammed El-Erian, CEO of the investment firm PIMCO, says different regions have healed at much different rates.

The year "2012 was another multispeed world globally, in the sense that different parts did different things," he says.

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Around the Nation
5:31 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Conn. Adult Shooting Victims Hailed As Heros

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 8:17 am

Six school employees died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. President Obama has hailed them as heroes. The six women included a veteran school psychologist, a dedicated special education teacher and a young substitute at the beginning of her career.

Around the Nation
5:05 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook Principal: Charismatic And Passionate

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:38 pm

Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, was killed in the shootings in Connecticut Friday. In her two years at the school, Hochsprung had become a favorite of students and parents for her charismatic leadership and warm personality. She died trying to overpower the gunman.

Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
4:34 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Small Town Tries To Cope With Unimaginable Tragedy

Mourners gather for a vigil service for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn., on Friday night.
Andrew Gombert AP

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

Newtown, Conn., is a white-collar community an hour and a half northeast of New York City. It's the kind of place where crime is rare and the biggest thing that happens each year is the Labor Day parade.

Now the peace and quiet has been shattered, and residents are trying to make sense of what's happened.

Hours after the shootings that left so many people dead, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church opened its doors for a prayer vigil. People filed through the streets and past houses decorated with Christmas lights.

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Business
5:14 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

U.S. Officials Hope HSBC Penalty Sends A Message

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. It is the biggest penalty ever paid by a bank to the U.S. government. HSBC, a British company, will hand over $1.9 billion to settle a money laundering case. The Justice Department says HSBC violated the bank secrecy act and the trading with the enemy act by doing business with the likes of Iran.

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Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Unemployment Falls To Lowest Rate In Four Years

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in November, that's the lowest it's been in four years. The Labor Department's latest jobs report released this morning showed employers added more jobs than expected.

But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, economists warn these new numbers aren't what they appear to be.

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It's All Politics
6:03 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Looming Spending Cuts Would Hit Hard All Over

Alan Krueger, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, warns that consumer spending will drop if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deal on spending cuts and tax increases.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:09 pm

Tax increases are only a part of what lies ahead if Congress can't come to an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff by the new year. Massive spending cuts will also kick in — and those cuts will be felt throughout the economy.

The current stalemate got under way two years ago when Congress, locked in a bitter partisan battle over whether to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, passed what was known as the Budget Control Act of 2011.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:42 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Seaside After Sandy: Is Rebuilding Worth It?

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

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

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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Business
5:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

House Report Blames Corzine For MF Global's Demise

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 6:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

House Republicans have released portions of a report on the collapse of MF Global, the commodities firm run by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. The report chastises Corzine for taking excessive risk.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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