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.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're getting another small clue about President Trump's overall financial picture after the president released some disclosure forms late last week. What did they say? Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

For a young Donald Trump in the 1970s, the Grand Hyatt hotel on East 42nd Street was his first major development project, a chance to make a splash in the big-time world of New York City real estate.

Yet the glitzy glass-fronted hotel never would have been possible without an almost unprecedented 40-year tax abatement from the city, which was then recovering from a painful fiscal crisis.

The Trump Organization is shutting down its New York-based modeling agency.

A statement released by the company said it was "choosing to exit the modeling industry."

"While we enjoyed many years of success, we are focussed on our core business in the real estate and golf industries and the rapid expansion of our hospitality division," the statement said.

Started in 1999, Trump Model Management was part of Trump's eclectic array of businesses, though it was never as visible as some of the others and didn't play a major role in the fashion business.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Angela Chen makes money hawking her ties to important people, running a consulting firm that helps companies connect with Asia's power players.

So it inevitably attracted notice when Chen spent nearly $16 million recently to buy a four-bedroom Park Avenue penthouse owned by President Trump himself.

The February deal, which was first reported by Mother Jones, underscores one of the problems posed by Trump's ongoing business interests.

After purportedly stopping in at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's Palm Beach resort, not long ago, a visitor went straight to Google's online review site to complain about the restaurant ambience.

"Very loud and distracting dinner atmosphere," the visitor noted. "I just wanted a quiet peaceful meal, but White House staff and diplomats at the next table kept shouting out classified information."

These days, plenty of consulting firms make money peddling advice on cybersecurity. Only one is run by a man designated special adviser to the president of the United States.

Earlier this month, President-elect Donald Trump named former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who heads a cybersecurity practice at the Miami-based law firm Greenberg-Traurig, as his chief adviser on cybersecurity issues.

Trump Tower, the building that President-elect Donald Trump calls home, bills itself as "one of the world's elite luxury residences, catering to public figures, athletes, celebrities and other affluent sophisticates."

These days, some other people have taken up residence there as well: Secret Service agents.

Trump has said that his family won't move into the White House right away and will remain, for a few months at least, in the world-famous steel-and-glass office and residential building where they occupy three floors.

He was a flamboyant, alpha-male billionaire who said things no career politician ever would — someone who promised to use his business savvy to reform the system and bring back jobs. Voters believed that his great wealth insulated him from corruption, because he couldn't be bought.

But his administration was marked by criminal investigations and crony capitalism.

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.

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.

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/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.

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