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.

Goldman Sachs has become the latest big bank to agree to a multibillion-dollar settlement over the way it packaged and sold mortgage-backed securities in the heady days of the housing boom.

The Justice Department said Monday that Goldman had agreed to pay $5.06 billion over its conduct in the packaging and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2007.

Goldman Sachs has become the latest big bank to agree to a multibillion-dollar settlement over the way it packaged and sold mortgage-backed securities in the heady days of the housing boom.

The Justice Department said Monday that Goldman had agreed to pay $5.06 billion over its conduct in the packaging and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities between 2005 and 2007.

Poor people who reside in expensive, well-educated cities such as San Francisco tend to live longer than low-income people in less affluent places, according to a study of more than a billion Social Security and tax records.

Poor people who reside in expensive, well-educated cities such as San Francisco tend to live longer than low-income people in less affluent places, according to a study of more than a billion Social Security and tax records.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Donald Trump first made his mark in the mid-1970s by purchasing the venerable Commodore Hotel in Midtown Manhattan and covering it with stainless steel and glass.

It was the beginning of a long, carefully planned campaign to create a Trump brand of glitz and glamour — one that he would attach to everything from champagne to neckties.

Now some people think that the mud-slinging presidential campaign may have seriously damaged Trump's brand, especially with the high-income crowd he caters to.

U.S. companies will find it much harder to reduce their taxes by merging with foreign firms under new rules introduced by the Obama administration, and that's already throwing the fate of one big deal in doubt.

Shares of Allergan were down sharply Tuesday, as investors questioned whether its $150 billion merger with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will still take place.

General Electric wants to be removed from the federal government's list of too-big-to-fail financial institutions, arguing that it's no longer a major player in the financial services industry.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Over the past few decades, New York City has become safer, richer and a lot more crowded than it used to be. All over Manhattan these days, you can see apartment buildings going up — and yet finding a decent place to live has become tougher than ever.

"We are in an official housing crisis, period, in New York City," says Alicia Glen, New York City's deputy mayor for housing and development. "Our population is growing much more rapidly than our housing stock and so we have a really imbalanced housing market."

Like other presidential candidates before him, Donald Trump is under pressure to release his tax returns. Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney (who faced tax disclosure issues of his own) even suggested this week that Trump was refusing to do so because they contain a "bombshell."

At Thursday's Republican debate in Houston, Trump explained that he cannot release his returns because he is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

The Claim

The most prosperous parts of the U.S. have recovered nicely from the 2008 financial crisis, but many other places remain mired in high unemployment and poverty, according to a report measuring wealth levels by ZIP code.

"The United States is still a land of opportunity for many. But when it comes to life outcomes, geography is too often destiny," says a report from the Economic Innovation Group, a research organization.

Too-big-to-fail banks are generating plenty of anger from the public, but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the real risks to the financial system lie in the vast, lightly regulated corners of the economy called shadow banks.

Under fire for her ties to Wall Street, Clinton increasingly has talked about the need to crack down on the hedge funds, private equity firms, money market funds and derivatives traders that perform many of the same functions as banks without being regulated the same way.

U.S. health regulators acknowledged they miscalculated the amount of formaldehyde emitted from some of Lumber Liquidators' laminated floor products. Shares of the company fell sharply Monday on the news.

The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention says the risk of cancer is three times higher than it previously estimated, and it strongly urged Lumber Liquidators customers to take steps to reduce exposure to the substance. The company no longer sells the Chinese-made, laminate products.

As Bernie Sanders sees it, Wall Street got a big boost when U.S. taxpayers bailed out some of the largest financial institutions in 2008. Now it's time for Wall Street to return the favor.

Sanders has proposed something he calls a speculation tax, a small levy on every stock, bond or derivative sold in the United States.

The revenue would go toward free tuition at public colleges and universities and would also be used to pare down student debt and pay for work-study programs, as well as other programs, Sanders says.

Japan is venturing further into the terra incognito of negative interest rates, selling a 10-year government bond that actually costs its purchasers money over time.

In doing so, it joins a handful of European countries that have also lowered rates below zero.

The yield on the 10-year note sold by the Bank of Japan dipped to an unprecedented level of negative .05 percent, meaning that anyone who buys it will lose money.

For the first few minutes of his appearance on Capitol Hill Thursday morning, pharma bad boy Martin Shkreli was the soul of decorum.

He sat placidly, hands clasped, a polite smile fixed upon his face, as members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee fired questions at him.

And to every question he gave the same answer:

Tickets to the most popular concerts and other live events are often hard to find because of abusive practices by vendors who illegally use computer programs called bots to grab them up, according to a report released by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

In some cases, tickets to live events sell out within minutes, only to appear right away at enormous markups on sites such as StubHub, according to the report, which calls for major reform to the ticketing process.

The Federal Reserve has decided to keep its benchmark interest rate where it is, even as Fed officials expressed somewhat more caution about global economic conditions.

In a statement issued after the end of policymakers' two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee said the federal funds rate would stay at 25-50 basis points, where it was set at the Fed's December meeting.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is on a goodwill tour through Italy and France this week, trying to drum up investment for his country's sanctions-battered economy.

But Iran still faces challenges that make it hard for companies to do business with Tehran.

In a move that was loudly celebrated in Iran, the United States and other countries earlier this month agreed to lift an economic embargo that had been imposed in 2012 in an effort to curb Iran's nuclear program.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Markets tumbled today, hard. It's a continuation of a recent rough patch on Wall Street. Already this year, both the Dow and the S&P are down more than 7 percent. NPR's Jim Zarroli joins us now to discuss the sour mood among investors. Hey, Jim

Lego says it is changing its guidelines for the purchase of large amounts of its iconic toy bricks, a policy that had generated a social media firestorm when used to block sales to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

The company said in a statement that it will no longer ask people who want to buy the bricks in bulk what they're using them for:

Just as David Bowie left an indelible mark on music, he also played an important but lesser-known role in the world of finance.

In 1997, Bowie became the first musician to package his future royalties into a security that could be bought and sold by investors, an asset that came to be known as a "Bowie bond."

The sale of the bonds to Prudential Securities netted the musician $55 million. They were downgraded to junk by Moody's Securities in 2004, amid a wave of illegal downloading and weak overall music sales.

Already reeling from a series of food-borne-illness outbreaks, Chipotle Mexican Grill now faces a federal criminal investigation, as well.

The company says it has received a subpoena from a federal grand jury in connection with a norovirus outbreak last fall at one of its restaurants in Simi Valley, Calif.

In August, 189 customers were sickened after visiting the restaurant, as well as 18 Chipotle employees, according to Doug Beach, manager of the Community Services Program at the Ventura County Environmental Health Department, in an interview with NPR.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders traveled to the heart of the nation's financial sector Tuesday to issue a scathing denunciation of Wall Street and repeat his call to break up the biggest banks.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is struggling to convince its customers it's a safe place to eat, after several outbreaks of foodborne illnesses have sickened hundreds of its customers. But no one thinks the task is going to be easy.

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has imposed a $70 million civil fine on the parent company of Chrysler for failing to report safety data.

A statement from the agency said Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA, has acknowledged that it failed to turn in "early warning report" data about accidents, warranty claims and safety issues. The data are used to identify potential defects that could lead to a recall, the agency said.

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