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.

When comedian Bill Maher offered $5 million to Donald Trump if he could prove he wasn't the son of an orangutan, Trump did something he's done many times before: He sued.

Federal law says anyone who works for the executive branch of the government has to avoid conflicts of interest. The Treasury secretary cannot own stock in a big bank, for instance. And Richard Painter, who served as ethics adviser under President George W. Bush, says different administrations have typically been scrupulous about following the law.

"Whenever anyone was even considering a position that would be appointed by the president, I would discuss with that person the need to sell off assets that create conflicts of interest," Painter says.

For 130 years, the hulking Bethlehem Steel Mill dominated the economy of eastern Pennsylvania's Northampton County, providing jobs for generations of residents. Today, it's been replaced by a Sands Casino.

"It was thousands of jobs. The entire south side of Bethlehem was built for the residents, the employees of Bethlehem Steel. Now it's nothing," says county resident Keith Hornik, who works at his family's construction company.

This month federal regulators fined Wells Fargo $185 million for opening checking and credit card accounts on behalf of customers who had no idea that was happening. The bank has promised to try to make restitution.

But that's a lot harder than it sounds. A big question is how to compensate people whose credit scores were hurt by what the bank did.

The founder of Rolling Stone is selling a minority share of the fabled magazine to a Singapore-based social media entrepreneur, the first time an outside investor has been allowed to buy into the property.

Several media reports say Jann Wenner has decided to sell 49 percent of the magazine, as well as its digital assets, to BandLab Technologies, a social-networking site for musicians and fans.

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Republican Donald Trump has built his presidential campaign around the idea that he is an enormously successful billionaire with a long track record of making money — and that given the chance he can use his business smarts to revive the American economy.

Tech entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants people to know he's not so impressed.

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Last week's Brexit vote sent financial markets tumbling around the world, wiping out months of stock market gains and pushing the British pound down to levels not seen in more than three decades.

It also raised tough questions about the future of the United Kingdom's economy, especially with the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and the ensuing political turmoil.

In more and more countries, investors are paying the government for the privilege of owning its bonds. It's usually the other way around.

The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond fell into negative territory for the first time ever on Tuesday, as worries build that the United Kingdom could decide to leave the European Union next week.

A lot of famous and important people have felt the sting of Donald Trump's invective in recent months, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, British Prime Minister David Cameron and even the pope.

And then there's Bob Guillo, of Manhasset, N.Y.

The 76-year-old Long Island retiree found himself singled out by Trump in a speech on May 27 because he had criticized Trump University, one of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's most controversial business ventures.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders says that if he is elected president in November, one of his first acts in office would be to begin breaking up the large financial institutions that pose a grave risk to the economy.

But there's a problem with that idea: It's not clear the president has the legal authority to break up the banks.

"It's not something the president can do. It's not even something the Treasury can do," says Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics.

The leaking of more than 11 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca earlier this month cast new light on the arcane world of offshore shell companies, long a favorite hiding place for the very rich.

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

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.

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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.

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.

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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:

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.

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.

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An international consortium that wants to build the world's biggest telescope on the Big Island of Hawaii says it's deciding what to do next, after the state's Supreme Court invalidated the project's building permit.

The consortium "will follow the process set forth by the state, as we always have. We are assessing our next steps on the way forward," said Henry Yang, chairman of the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory Board of Directors.

Video-game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. is taking a big step into the mobile world, acquiring King Digital Entertainment, the maker of Candy Crush games, for $5.9 billion.

The deal will create the second biggest game company in the world, after Tencent, says the research firm Newzoo. It will have some 500 million active monthly users around the world.

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