Jim Zarroli

Jim Zarroli is an NPR correspondent based in New York. He covers economics and business news.

Over the years, he has reported on recessions and booms, crashes and rallies, and a long string of tax dodgers, insider traders, and Ponzi schemers. Most recently, he has focused on trade and the job market. He also worked as part of a team covering President Trump's business interests.

Before moving into his current role, Zarroli served as a New York-based general assignment reporter for NPR News. While in this position, he reported from the United Nations and was also involved in NPR's coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the London transit bombings, and the Fukushima earthquake.

Before joining NPR in 1996, Zarroli worked for the Pittsburgh Press and wrote for various print publications.

He lives in Manhattan, loves to read, and is a devoted (but not at all fast) runner.

Zarroli grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, in a family of six kids and graduated from Pennsylvania State University.

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Both the United States and Europe announced new economic sanctions this week against Russia for its role in the conflict in Ukraine. Among other things, Western companies will no longer be able to sell Russia new technologies to develop its oil fields.

The move comes at a time when oil exports have become more important than ever for the Russian economy.

President Obama says the sanctions are meant to send a strong message:

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Talks aimed at resolving Argentina's debt crisis have broken down in New York. A court-appointed mediator has declared that the country will go into default. It is the second time the country has defaulted in about 12 years.

With a midnight deadline looming, the government and its creditors walked away without a deal late Wednesday.

Argentina has been waging a protracted legal battle with a small number of bondholders. They want to be paid in full for bonds they purchased years ago.

Russia says it will appeal an unfavorable decision by a court in The Hague. The Permanent Court of Arbitration awarded $50 billion to shareholders of the defunct Yukos oil company. Russia seized the company in 2003 and put owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky in jail on tax and fraud charges.

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"Foreclosure, foreclosure, foreclosure."

Real estate broker John Susani drives down a Paterson, N.J., street where every third house seems to be abandoned or boarded up. During the boom years, money flooded into Paterson.

"The banking industry allowed everyone to be a homeowner; they gave mortgages to people [just because they were] breathing," Susani says.

In some cases, he says, home prices jumped as much as 50 percent. The homes on these streets aren't worth nearly that much anymore.

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This week the big medical device company Medtronic said it was moving its legal headquarters from Minneapolis to Ireland. It's part of a $43 billion merger with another medical company, Dublin-based Covidien.

The move is a tax-saving strategy called an inversion and it's growing more common in the corporate world.

U.S. companies make huge amounts of money overseas every year and much of it stays there, stashed away in foreign accounts.

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Entrepreneur Andy Krafsur raised money for Spira Footwear by reaching out to friends and family. But that was a dozen years ago. After the economy tanked, the common tactic became a lot more difficult.

"The pool of people that you can go to has shrunken significantly," Krafsur says, "and everybody goes to those same people."

Then Krafsur found a crowdfunding website that helped his cash flow enormously. The Securities and Exchange Commission is about to approve rules allowing small businesses to reach out to investors through these kinds of crowdfunding networks.

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The Chinese Internet giant Alibaba has officially announced its initial public offering. The IPO won't take place right away. But when it does, several months from now, it's expected to be one of the biggest in Wall Street history.

One year ago Thursday, an eight-story factory building in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The disaster at Rana Plaza brought new attention to safety conditions in the country's booming garment industry.

In the year since then, some of the world's biggest retailers have begun inspecting Bangladesh's factories more aggressively. But in other ways efforts to reform the industry have fallen short.

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Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping — sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues.

Recently, MIT professor Michelle Hanlon and two colleagues set out to find out all they could about round-tripping.

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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.

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.

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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.

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The Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into Herbalife. It's a nutrition supplement company that's accused of operating like a pyramid scheme. The company disclosed the investigation today.

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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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