Jim Zarroli

Jim Zarroli is a reporter who has covered business and the economy from NPR's New York bureau since 1996. In that position, he regularly covers a wide range of economic subjects, including employment, the stock market, the Federal Reserve System, deregulation, trade, and the media. His pieces can be heard regularly on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and he is a contributor to NPR's On the Media.

Among the stories he has worked on recently are the accounting scandals at Enron, WorldCom, and other companies; the trials of Martha Stewart and Bernard Ebbers; the spread of tax shelters; the investigation of the insurance industry; the rise of oil prices; as well as numerous corporate mergers. As a reporter in New York, Zarroli also assisted in NPR's coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, an experience that left an indelible mark on him.

Before covering business, Zarroli was a general assignment reporter for NPR. He also covered the United Nations during the first Gulf war and the Bosnia crisis. Zarroli started his radio career at WBUR-FM in Boston, and before that was a reporter at the Pittsburgh Press and the Associated Press. He has written for The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.

Zarroli grew up in a small house in Wilmington, Delaware, with five siblings. He is a 1980 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. He loves traveling to new places, reading, gardening, and he likes most people except those who mistreat animals. He lives with his partner in New York and has two formerly stray cats.

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5:25pm

Fri July 3, 2015
Parallels

Debt Crisis Puts The Squeeze On Greece's Banks

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

Pensioners queue outside a national bank branch in Athens on Thursday. Greek banks are running out of cash and the situation poses further danger to the economy, analysts say.
Aris Messinis AFP/Getty Images

As they rapidly run out of cash, Greece's banks could hardly be in a more precarious position.

For months, as this crisis has intensified people have been slowly withdrawing their money. The banks have been able to do business only because of emergency loans from the European Central Bank.

But when Greece missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund this week, the ECB decided not to lend any more money.

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11:17am

Thu July 2, 2015
Economy

In June Jobs Report, Positive Numbers Belie Frustrations Beneath Surface

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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2:22am

Thu July 2, 2015
Economy

Jobs Report Expected To Show 'Stronger Momentum' In Economy

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 8:16 am

Economists surveyed by Reuters are predicting that employers added about 230,000 jobs to their payrolls in June. That's less than the month before but still a pretty strong showing.

Because of the Independence Day holiday, the unemployment report is being released on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. It is normally issued on a Friday.

The U.S. economy slowed a lot over the winter, but as the weather has improved so has the job market. On Wednesday, the payroll processing company ADP said private employers added about 237,000 jobs in June — the biggest gain since December.

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5:29pm

Tue June 30, 2015
Europe

How Default Could Push Greece Out Of The Eurozone

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 7:39 pm

People wait in line to withdraw euros from an ATM after Greece closed its banks Monday in Athens.
Milos Bicanski Getty Images

This story was updated at 7 p.m. ET.

The deadline passed Tuesday evening for Greece to make a key loan payment to the International Monetary Fund — putting it a step closer toward quitting the euro.

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5:40pm

Mon June 22, 2015
Europe

EU Leaders Consider Economic Reform Proposal To Prevent Greek Default

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 10:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:35am

Mon June 22, 2015
Economy

Summit To Concentrate On Greece's Impending Deadline To Repay IMF Loan

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 6:54 pm

Demonstrators hold flags and banners during a protest march in solidarity with Greece in Brussels on Sunday. Heads of state in the eurozone will meet in Brussels on Monday for a special summit to discuss the financial crisis with Greece.
Virginia Mayo AP

European leaders hold an emergency summit in Brussels on Monday in an effort to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debts. Greece owes the International Monetary Fund $1.8 billion by the end of this month, and it needs Europe's help to make the payment. But the Athens government is refusing to commit to an economic overhaul package that officials are demanding.

Greece has come close to default many times before — only to work out a last-minute compromise with its creditors. This time, though, it faces much longer odds.

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5:11pm

Sun June 21, 2015
Europe

Will Monday's Greek Debt Talks Result In A Deal?

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 6:18 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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6:27pm

Thu June 11, 2015
U.S.

U.S. Export-Import Bank Targeted By Conservatives

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 7:48 pm

A Boeing 737 at the company's factory in Renton, Wash. Foreign airlines that want to buy Boeing planes often do so with loans underwritten by the Export-Import Bank.
Saul Loeb AP

Republicans are often seen as the party of business. So it's a little ironic that some of the most vocal opposition to the Export-Import Bank comes from conservative Republicans, such as Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.

"If we're ever going to get rid of all the corporate connectedness, all the corporate welfare, you've got to start with the most egregious one and the most obvious one and that's the Export-Import Bank," he says.

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11:15am

Wed May 20, 2015
Law

'Cartel' Of 4 Big Banks To Plead Guilty To Gaming The Exchange Rate

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 12:09 pm

Four major banks — Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland — have agreed to plead guilty to currency manipulation and pay over $5 billion in fines. Officials say that traders from the banks, who allegedly called themselves "the cartel," used secret codes to manipulate the exchange rate between U.S. dollars and Euros. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has taken the unusual step of tossing out what's called a deferred prosecution agreement against a fifth bank.

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9:33am

Tue May 12, 2015
Business

Verizon Acquires AOL For $4.4 Billion

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 10:11 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:29pm

Fri May 1, 2015
All Tech Considered

The Annual Shareholders' Meeting Will Now Come To Order Online

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:18 pm

Dynegy is one of a growing number of companies to hold meetings online.
Dynegy/Broadridge

The annual meeting is a staple of corporate life. It's a chance for even a small shareholder to take the measure of a company's managers, to ask a question or express a beef about a company actions.

But here's the dirty secret about shareholder meetings: Unless the company is huge or there's some controversy going on, hardly anyone shows up.

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9:33am

Sat April 25, 2015
Business

Who, Or What, Crashed The Market In A Flash In 2010?

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 2:15 pm

A reporter stands outside the front door of a house registered to a trading company operated by Navinder Singh Sarao in Hounslow, west of London. on April 22, 2015. Sarao was arrested in connection with the Wall Street flash crash of 2010.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

It has been five years since the so-called flash crash on Wall Street raised big questions about computerized trading. What caused the flash crash has been a topic of debate ever since. U.S. officials revived the debate this week by arresting a little-known trader in London.

May 6, 2010 started out as an ordinary trading day on Wall Street. Then, at around 2:45 in the afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 600 points within the space of a few minutes, before correcting itself.

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4:51pm

Wed April 22, 2015
Business

Comcast, Time Warner Push For Merger Approval Amid Opposition

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 8:17 am

Federal regulators are considering whether to approve the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Officials of Comcast and Time Warner Cable met Wednesday with federal regulators to discuss the companies' proposed $45 billion merger. The deal would create a single company that would control large parts of the cable TV and broadband Internet markets.

A published report said recently that Justice Department staff members have decided to oppose the deal on antitrust grounds. But company officials are using a lot of firepower to get the deal approved.

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7:47am

Sun April 19, 2015
Europe

Greece Risks Losing Future Bailout Funds

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 11:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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5:51pm

Thu April 16, 2015
Asia

New Asian Development Bank Seen As Sign Of China's Growing Influence

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 12:54 am

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (left) speaks during the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Oct. 24, in Beijing.
Getty Images

China says 57 countries have signed on as charter members of the new China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. They include some of the United States' closest allies, which added their names despite pressure from the White House not to join.

The Obama administration is concerned the new bank will compete with Western-led institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but leaders of those institutions don't seem to be worried.

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4:13pm

Wed April 8, 2015
Business

Shell's Big Deal Could Shift Global Landscape Of Gas Business

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 6:23 pm

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7:39am

Sun March 29, 2015
Asia

How Singapore Became One Of The Richest Places On Earth

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

A couple enjoys the view of Singapore's financial center. Conservatives saw Singapore as a free-market success story, but Lee Kuan Yew's government played a big role in the economy.
Wong Maye-E AP

Singapore has been called the 20th century's most successful development story.

"I don't think any other economy," says Linda Lim, an economist at the University of Michigan, "even the other Asian tigers, have that a good a statistical record of rapid growth, full employment, with very good social indicators — life expectancy, education, housing, etc. — in the first 20 years," she says.

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3:41am

Tue March 24, 2015
Business

For Banks 'Too Big To Jail,' Prosecutors Count On A Promise To Behave

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 2:49 pm

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at the company's headquarters in Zurich. U.S. officials are investigating whether UBS and Barclays manipulated currency rates at a time when they were already operating under a deferred prosecution agreement for manipulating interest rates.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters/Landov

Last week, a top Justice Department official issued a tough warning to banks and other corporations that repeatedly commit crimes. She said U.S. officials could do away with their deferred-prosecution agreements.

Such deals allow companies that have broken the law to escape criminal convictions by promising to clean up their act. A new book looks at the role these agreements play in the corporate world.

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6:05pm

Fri March 13, 2015
Business

Lumber Liquidators Defends Its Products After '60 Minutes' Report

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 8:00 pm

A man walks past a Lumber Liquidators store in Philadelphia. The retailer says it stands by its products and will pay for the safety testing of laminate floors.
Matt Slocum AP

Earlier this month, the flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators got the kind of attention companies dread. CBS' 60 Minutes did a story saying the company's products have unsafe levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

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4:54pm

Wed March 11, 2015
Business

Targeting Unions: Right-To-Work Movement Bolstered By Wisconsin

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 10:40 pm

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became a Republican political star by taking on his state's public employee unions. This week he signed a bill that would weaken private-sector unions.
Cliff Owen AP

This week, Wisconsin became the nation's 25th right-to-work state. It passed a law saying workers cannot be forced to join labor unions, or pay union dues, to keep a job.

There's a concerted effort in many states to pass laws that would weaken the power of labor unions. But unions and their allies are also fighting back in many places.

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6:16pm

Tue February 17, 2015
Economy

Study Suggests Recession, Recovery Have Not Left The Rich Richer

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:56 pm

Maggie Barcellano prepares dinner in January 2014 at her father's house in Austin, Texas. Barcellano, who lives with her father, enrolled in the food stamps program while she works as a home health aide and raises her 3-year-old daughter. A study suggests that social safety nets, including food stamps, helped cushion income losses for middle- and working-class Americans during the recession.
Tamir Kalifa AP

The Great Recession exacted a huge toll on people in every income group, and recovering from it has been a long and grueling process.

To some economists, the recovery has exacerbated the very real trend toward income inequality in the United States. French economist Thomas Piketty has noted that between 2009 and 2012 incomes have grown, but almost all of those gains have gone to the wealthiest 1 percent.

It's a claim that has been repeated often, but Steven Rose of George Washington University says it needs to be put in perspective.

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6:26pm

Thu February 12, 2015
Business

Obama's Plan To Tax Overseas Earnings Draws Scrutiny

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 12:01 pm

American companies have about $2 trillion in overseas accounts — money they could be using to hire workers and pay dividends in the United States. But they're reluctant to do so, in part because of the way the U.S. tax system works.

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1:47am

Mon February 9, 2015
Business

Leaked HSBC Documents Shed Light On Swiss Banking Industry

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:59 pm

Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

A huge trove of leaked documents is shedding new light on the secretive Swiss banking industry.

The documents were downloaded by a former computer security expert at the giant bank HSBC, and they were released over the weekend by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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4:37pm

Tue February 3, 2015
Business

Standard & Poor's To Pay Over $1 Billion In Legal Settlement

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 6:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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12:27pm

Tue February 3, 2015
Law

Justice Dept. Settles S&P Lawsuit

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6:10pm

Thu January 29, 2015
Business

Some Businesses Say Immigrant Workers Are Harder To Find

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:07 am

Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., says it can't keep enough workers to meet demand for its poultry products, despite paying $16 per hour plus benefits.
Jim Zarroli NPR

At Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., workers cut up chicken breasts and feed the parts into machines. The pieces are then marinated, breaded and eventually sold to restaurants.

The work here can be physically demanding. Not a lot of people want to do it — even though the average wage here is $16 per hour plus benefits.

Tom Hensley, the company president, says Fieldale Farms hires just about anyone who can pass a drug test.

"We hire 100 people a week. Because we have 100 people who quit every week, out of 5,000 employees," he says. "We're constantly short."

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6:18pm

Fri January 23, 2015
News

Auto Loan Surge Fuels Fears Of Another Subprime Crisis

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 3:41 pm

Auto dealers are extending loans to a growing number of people with weak credit.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The number of Americans buying autos approached a record high last year. It's one more sign of how much the economy is improving.

But there's a big potential downside that's evoking comparisons to the subprime mortgage boom. Auto dealers are extending loans to a growing number of people with weak credit, and more of them are having trouble making payments.

When Chris Westervelt moved from Texas to Alaska to take a job, he decided to trade in his Mazda for a car that could handle snow and ice.

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6:17pm

Wed January 7, 2015
Economy

Euro Falls To 9-Year Low Against U.S. Dollar

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6:37pm

Mon January 5, 2015
All Tech Considered

U.S. Credit Cards Tackle Fraud With Embedded Chips, But No PINs

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 11:00 am

To protect against fraud, U.S. banks will be issuing credit cards with small computer chips. But some experts say using a PIN to complete a transaction is more secure than a signature.
iStockphoto

This year, there will be an important change in the way Americans use their credit cards. More banks will be issuing cards with small computer chips, a move they say will protect against credit card fraud.

But banks are stopping short of another step that will make credit card usage even safer. And a lot of retailers aren't too happy about it.

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3:22am

Wed December 31, 2014
Parallels

Sanctions Intensify Russia's Free Fall Into Economic Crisis

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 11:39 am

President Vladimir Putin speaks in Moscow on Dec. 23. Russia's current economic crisis stems from Western sanctions and diving oil prices.
Maxim Shipenkov AFP/Getty Images

A year ago, Russia's economy was riding high. Today, the country is widely thought to be entering a recession, if it's not already there.

The plunge in oil prices has been the main culprit, but Russia's economy has had trouble regaining its footing because of sanctions imposed by the West after the annexation of Crimea. President Obama and other Western leaders were quick to condemn Russia when it annexed the Crimean Peninsula last March, and they struggled to find a way to show their outrage.

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