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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4:33pm

Tue April 8, 2014
Law

New Rules Force Big Banks To Keep A Bigger Cushion

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Five and a half years after the financial crisis that devastated the global economy, U.S. officials are taking steps to strengthen the nation's banking system. Today, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation approved tough new rules that require banks to hold a lot more capital on their books. Regulators say the requirements will reduce the risk of bank failures during bad economic times.

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5:53pm

Wed April 2, 2014
Business

Traders Defend High-Speed Systems Against Charges Of Rigging

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 9:54 pm

"The stock market is rigged," says Michael Lewis, and high-frequency traders are to blame. But defenders of high-speed trading say it plays a legitimate role.
Paul Giamou iStockphoto

The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed this week that they're both investigating the world of high-frequency stock trading. They did so at a time when a new book on the subject, Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, is causing an uproar on Wall Street.

To read Lewis' book is to be reminded of how drastically the stock market has changed in a decade — and how opaque it remains. Lewis says this opacity serves to cover up some disturbing developments.

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4:30pm

Tue April 1, 2014
News

American-Made, Haven-Kept? Congress Looks At Caterpillar's Tax Returns

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 7:58 pm

Caterpillar executives are on Capitol Hill answering questions about the company's tax returns. Caterpillar is accused of shifting money abroad to avoid billions in taxes. Company officials say Caterpillar has followed the law.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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5:10pm

Fri March 28, 2014
Business

Russia's Energy Market Heft Leaves Neighbors Unsettled

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 6:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The crisis in Ukraine is raising new questions about Russia's role in the energy markets. Moscow has long used exports of oil and natural gas to win political concessions from countries on its borders. Europe gets a quarter of its natural gas from Russia.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, that's making a lot of people there nervous.

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4:33pm

Mon March 24, 2014
News

Madoff Aides Found Guilty For Role In Massive Ponzi Scheme

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 6:46 pm

Five of Bernie Madoff's former employees were found guilty of helping him fleece investors of $17 billion. They were convicted on charges of securities fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion.

5:01pm

Wed March 12, 2014
News

FTC Investigates Herbalife, Following Claims It's A Pyramid Scheme

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 8:14 pm

Herbalife shares dropped on news the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company. After shorting Herbalife's stock, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman's been lobbying politicians to investigate.

4:03pm

Wed February 26, 2014
Business

Swiss Bank Finds Itself Under American Scrutiny

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Top executives at one of Switzerland's biggest banks said today they're sincerely trying to prevent tax evasion by U.S. citizens. They also said conflicting laws in the two countries make it almost impossible to do that. The chief executive of Credit Suisse appeared before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has been looking into the use of secret Swiss bank accounts by Americans.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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4:34pm

Mon February 24, 2014
Business

Netflix Pays Comcast To Ensure Its Videos Stream Smoothly

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Netflix is hoping that a deal it has struck with Comcast will mollify some of its unhappy customers. The company announced yesterday that it will pay to connect Comcast's broadband network more directly. That means Netflix customers should get faster, smoother access to programs like "House of Cards." The deal could serve as a model to help the company resolve disputes with other big Internet service providers.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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6:46pm

Thu February 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Video Streaming Is Straining, But Who Will Ease The Tension?

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 2:16 pm

Internet service providers are having trouble keeping pace with growing demand for video streaming services. But there's disagreement over how to fix the problem.
iStockphoto

Suzie Felber's kids are only just learning what a commercial is.

"They start screaming when they come on," she says. "They think the TV's broken."

The Felbers usually stream television shows over the Internet in their New Jersey home.

More and more people are following suit, using services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. But these programs take up a huge amount of digital bandwidth, and that's led to a dispute between these services and the Internet service providers that carry them.

Slower Service

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5:54pm

Tue February 4, 2014
Law

Senate Steps Into The Data Breach Controversy

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A top executive at the retail chain Target went to Capitol Hill today to try to explain the massive security breach that hit the company in December. Hackers stole personal information of tens of millions of Target customers during the holiday shopping season. The incident has underscored the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals and the vulnerability of big retailers. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more on the hearing.

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4:50pm

Mon February 3, 2014
Economy

The Dow Drops Again, But What's Driving The Sell-Off?

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The stock market had one of its worst days in months today after some disappointing news about manufacturing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points, about two percent. The other major indexes were down even more.

NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us investors are reacting to new concern about the health of the global economy.

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5:08pm

Tue January 28, 2014
Economy

Days Of Turmoil Test Stability Of Emerging Markets

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

After losing a lot of ground, stock prices were back up a bit today. Investor anxiety about the state of the world's currency markets seemed to ease. The current turmoil is reminiscent of the 1997 currency crisis in Asia, which hurt economies all over the world.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, there are also some big differences.

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6:32pm

Thu January 23, 2014
Economy

Study: Upward Mobility No Tougher In U.S. Than Two Decades Ago

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:32 pm

The study did reveal widespread disparity in upward mobility based on geography. For those hoping to climb the economic ladder, San Francisco is one of the best places to live, the study found.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A new study finds that contrary to widespread belief, it's no harder to climb the economic ladder in the United States today than it was 20 years ago.

But the study did find that moving up that ladder is still a lot more difficult in the U.S. than in other developed countries.

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5:12pm

Tue January 14, 2014
Health Care

The Young And Restless May Cause Drama For ACA

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

After a slow start, the Affordable Care Act is now attracting customers at a healthier pace. The government said yesterday that 2.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the state and federal exchanges. But there's a serious red flag. A disproportionate number of new enrollees are middle aged or older.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli on what that means for the program and for insurers.

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2:19pm

Tue January 7, 2014
Business

JPMorgan Chase Settles Madoff Case For $1.7 Billion

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:56 am

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges accusing the bank of ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme.

2:30am

Mon December 23, 2013
Business

After Target's Data Breach, Customer Incentive Disappoints

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 9:06 am

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Target is trying to get back in its customers' good graces after a massive data breach affecting some 40 million credit and debit account holders. The giant retail chain offered its customers a 10 percent discount over the weekend as an act of atonement, but business was said to be down anyway.

The breach affected customers who used their credit and debit cards at one of Target's 1,750 stores during a three-week period after Thanksgiving.

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6:56pm

Sun December 15, 2013
Europe

Ireland Exits Bailout Program, But Economy Still On The Mend

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:24 am

On Sunday, Ireland became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Ireland was one of the countries hardest hit by Europe's debt crisis. On Sunday, it passed a big milestone when the nation became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

After three years of the bailout program, it isn't hard to find signs of improvement in Ireland and of an economy coming back from the dead.

"Don't get me wrong, it's been bad in a lot of ways, but there's a silver lining in every cloud," says Conor Mulhall, a 41-year-old father of three.

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5:43pm

Sun December 1, 2013
Around the Nation

The Latest From The New York Train Derailment

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 7:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

A commuter train derailed as it was heading into Manhattan this morning, killing four people and injuring more than 60. Witnesses say the train appeared to be going too fast as it rounded a curve just north of a train station in the Bronx. The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to piece together what happened.

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7:47am

Sat November 30, 2013
Health Care

A New Worry Looms Online For The Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 3:13 pm

Insurance companies say they are finding numerous mistakes on a digital form that's essential for signing up through HealthCare.gov.
AP

Saturday is the day the Obama administration promised it would have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for the majority of people who need to sign up for health insurance.

As the Obama administration scrambles to fix the glitch-plagued site, experts are beginning to worry about another problem that may further impair the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

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5:03am

Wed November 27, 2013
Business

Men's Wearhouse Goes 'Pac-Man' On Joseph A. Bank

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 5:25 am

The retail company Men's Wearhouse has announced it is launching a takeover battle for rival Joseph A. Bank. What makes the effort unusual is that just last month Joseph A. Bank was trying to take over Men's Wearhouse. The turnaround is an example of what Wall Street calls a Pac-Man defense.

6:00pm

Fri November 22, 2013
Business

JPMorgan Says It Broke No Law. So Why Pay The $13 Billion?

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:20 am

The U.S. government says JPMorgan Chase & Co. knowingly sold faulty mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The bank says it's broken no laws.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

State and federal regulators have hailed Tuesday's $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. over faulty mortgage assets it sold in the years leading up to the financial crisis as a big victory for the judicial system.

But like other big settlements to emerge from the financial crisis, the deal leaves unclear just what the bank did wrong.

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4:50am

Fri November 15, 2013
Business

Health Care Cancellation Cure Could Lead To Higher Premiums

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:49 am

The health care fix announced by President Obama on Thursday may be good news for some consumers, but it creates a big headache for insurance companies and regulators. An insurance industry trade group warns the last-minute change could destabilize the market and lead to higher premiums.

4:37am

Tue October 8, 2013
Law

Jury Selection To Begin For Trial Of Madoff Employees

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Nearly five years after Bernie Madoff was arrested for fraud, some of his former employees are about to go on trial in New York. The trial is expected to focus on how much the employees knew about Madoff's multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. Jury selections gets under way today.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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6:08am

Tue September 17, 2013
The Two-Way

JPMorgan To Get Whale Of A Fine For Trading Losses

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:38 am

JPMorgan Chase will reportedly pay a $700 million fine to settle allegations that it made risky trades out of its London office that led to more than $6 billion in losses.
Mark Lennihan AP

Authorities are set to slap banking giant JPMorgan Chase with a massive fine over the bank's huge trading losses in London last year, confirms NPR's Jim Zarroli.

Though details of the deal are still pending, several reports put the amount at more than $700 million. It comes on the heels of the bank's having recently paid $410 million to settle charges that it manipulated energy markets.

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3:46am

Thu September 12, 2013
Business

5 Years After Financial Crisis, Are Big Banks Still A Threat?

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:30 am

The headquarters of Lehman Brothers in Times Square in 2008, the year the financial services firm filed for bankruptcy.
Hiroko Masuike Getty Images

It's been five years since Lehman Brothers collapsed and touched off a banking crisis that is still being felt by the global economy. Today, the banking industry is a lot stronger than it was, but some critics say efforts to reform banking regulations have fallen short of their potential.

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5:27am

Wed August 21, 2013
Business

U.S. Retailers Vow To Upgrade Bangladesh's Safety Standards

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Some of America's biggest retailers announced new steps yesterday aimed at improving safety standards in Bangladesh's troubled garment industry. Wal-Mart and the Gap were among the companies that formed a group called the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety after the deadliest accident ever in the garment industry.

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5:27pm

Wed August 14, 2013
Law

Former JPMorgan Chase Traders Charged Over 'White Whale' Bets

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:40 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Federal prosecutors have charged two former JPMorgan Chase traders with securities fraud. The two men worked in London. And they are part of the so-called London Whale case, which cost the company more than $6 billion. U.S. officials say the men lied about the value of some derivatives trades to cover up mounting lawsuits. More from NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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3:08am

Mon August 12, 2013
Parallels

Too Much, Too Fast: China Sees Backlash From Massive Growth

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:25 am

At a time when much of the world is mired in economic torpor, China still enjoys enviable growth rates. Yet there's no question that its economy is growing more slowly these days.

Just ask Yan Liwei, a salesman for a construction materials company, who was visiting a park in Shanghai this weekend.

"The number of new construction projects is declining somewhat. It's taking longer for many of our clients to pay us what they owe," Liwei says. "Many small and midsized developers are feeling a cash crunch."

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4:42am

Wed July 17, 2013
Business

Rising Interest Rates Worry Banking Industry

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:08 am

Five years after the start of the financial crisis, the U.S. banking industry continues to earn strong profits. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs became the latest big bank to report better than expected earnings. But rising interest rates mean a riskier environment for banks.

2:28am

Mon July 1, 2013
Economy

Alabama County Files Plan To Exit Bankruptcy

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 10:57 am

Alabama's bankrupt Jefferson County has filed a 101-page plan that would force creditors to lose up to 70 cents on the dollar.

In 2011, the county underwent what's been called the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history. It's in debt by about $4.2 billion.

Because of combination of corruption and poor management, the municipality was unable to repay money it borrowed to upgrade its sewage system.

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