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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Over the years, the federal government has spent trillions of dollars more than it brings in, racking up big deficits even in good times, when it ought to be paring debt down.

Now, as it struggles to repair the damage from the coronavirus epidemic, it's getting ready to spend trillions more, pushing up this year's deficit above $3 trillion.

"It's mind-boggling. I never contemplated this," says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, who headed the Congressional Budget Office under President George W. Bush.

Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET

A record 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country. The Labor Department's report for the week ended March 21 was one of the first official indicators of how many people have suddenly been forced out of work nationally.

In the prior report, for the week ended March 14, initial claims totaled 282,000.

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While some states are getting deluged with so many unemployment claims their computers are crashing, President Trump continues to downplay the impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy.

Trump dismissed a worst-case scenario described by his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in which U.S. unemployment could soar as high as 20%.

"We're no way near it," Trump said.

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There's been a sharp spike in the number of companies laying workers off. A lot of states say they're suddenly flooded with unemployment claims. And as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, some are not prepared for the onslaught.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

As odds of a global recession rise, governments and central banks around the world are racing to fend off the economic damage from the spread of the coronavirus.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

An emergency interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve failed to mollify investors worried about the coronavirus epidemic, and stocks once again plummeted.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 786 points, a drop of 2.94% after an especially volatile trading day.

All the major indexes have lost more than 10% of their value since their all-time highs, moving back into what the market calls a correction.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

Stocks took another steep dive Friday, deepening a multi-day rout fueled by fears about the coronavirus' impact on the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 357 points on Friday, capping a week in which the blue chip index fell 3,583 points or 12.4%. The Dow is down 16.3% from its recent peak on Feb. 12.

The S&P 500 stock index lost 11.5% for the week and is now down 14.6% from the all-time high it reached only last week.

Some of the world's largest and most powerful banks spent the past decade mired in scandal, but none descended as far into ignominy as Germany's Deutsche Bank. Its rap sheet includes a staggering array of ethical and legal lapses, including money laundering, tax fraud and sanctions violations — not to mention mysterious ties to President Trump that federal investigators are even now looking into.

Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers, the "telecom cowboy" who spent 13 years in federal prison for his involvement in a notorious $11 billion accounting scandal, died Sunday. He was 78.

A federal judge had released Ebbers from prison in December — short of his 25-year sentence for fraud — because his health had deteriorated.

A former Mississippi basketball coach who preferred cowboy boots and jeans to suits and ties, Ebbers was one of the most colorful and successful executives to emerge out of the telecommunications revolution.

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Australia calls itself the Lucky Country, a nation so fortunate in geography and natural resources that it hasn't had a recession in nearly three decades.

But the deadly wildfires raging through large parts of the country are slowing tourism and other key sectors that contribute to its impressive economic growth.

In March 2009, Wall Street was a fearful and anxious place, where fortunes had been decimated and retirement funds deflated.

What few people could foresee in the depths of the Great Recession was that the stock market was also on the verge of a historic recovery, one that persists today. The decadelong run is also raising caution flags for some analysts who worry that investors are accepting too much risk.

Stocks are finishing 2019 on a remarkable upswing, with all of the major indexes hitting record highs and the S&P 500 up nearly 30% for the year.

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This was the year that President Trump's trade strategy began showing results - a revised NAFTA sailed through the U.S. House; the administration got a trade deal with China. But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, some of the thorniest trade problems remain unsolved.

Boeing CEO Steps Down

Dec 23, 2019

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If there's one company that can slow U.S. growth to a crawl, it's Boeing.

The aircraft and aerospace giant is so important to the economy — it's the No. 1 exporter — that its decision this week to suspend production of its troubled 737 Max airplane is expected to reverberate throughout the manufacturing sector.

Several analysts project that the move will slash economic growth by half a percentage point and eventually lead to layoffs.

China and the United States have agreed on what has been called the first phase of a trade deal.

As part of this Phase One agreement announced Friday, the U.S. suspended tariffs that were planned on $160 billion in Chinese imports that were set to take effect Sunday. The U.S. also halved the September 1 tariffs from 15% to 7.5% — they included all kinds of consumer products such as clothing and sports equipment.

Under the deal, China will purchase an unspecified amount of American products and has also agreed to "structural" changes, which have so far not been detailed.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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David Pierce was never someone who sat around watching life go by. He worked as a chef and had a catering business on the side. He sang in his church choir and did community theater, where he met his wife.

Then, in his mid-50s, doctors removed part of Pierce's foot, a complication of diabetes.

"My health just went, kind of really downhill. It really took a turn for the worse," says Pierce, sitting at his dining room table in his tidy home in Apalachin, N.Y. "I couldn't maintain even a part-time schedule."

When Gordon Sondland arrived at the Capitol last month to provide what would be pivotal testimony in the Trump impeachment inquiry, a reporter asked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, "Are you here to salvage your reputation?"

"I don't have a reputation to salvage," Sondland shot back.

Until recently, Sondland, 62, had a pretty low profile outside his hometown of Portland, Ore., where he and his wife, Katy Durant, are big Republican donors and contributors to numerous arts and civic organizations.

When President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009, it gave government regulators an important new weapon in its battle against Big Tobacco.

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration had the power to regulate the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of tobacco products, including the new and then-largely unknown practice of vaping.

Billy Carter appeared to relish his role as the president's colorful kid brother, raking in money through personal appearances, guest shots on TV's Hee Haw and even his own eponymous brand of beer.

When it came out that he had also accepted money for lobbying from the Libyan government, his financial dealings no longer seemed quite so funny.

Being related to a high-ranking politician can be lucrative, as former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter has discovered.

Eric Trump says his family may be willing to sell the lease on the historic Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., because of criticism the president uses the property to profit off his office.

"People are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel and therefore we may be willing to sell," he said in a statement released today.

In the statement, Eric Trump said the Trump Organization looks forward to working with Jones Lang Lasalle, a commercial real estate firm, to try to sell the property.

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