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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.

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.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Wilbur Ross Jr., a billionaire investor and turnaround specialist, as his commerce secretary.

Ross announced his selection Wednesday during a joint CNBC interview with longtime Wall Street banker Steve Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury secretary.

"Wilbur Ross is a champion of American manufacturing and knows how to help companies succeed," Trump said in a statement announcing his choice.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation has acknowledged in a tax filing that it violated the ban against "self-dealing," or using its assets to help its leader's business or personal interests, The Washington Post reported.

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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.

JPMorgan Chase and its Hong Kong affiliate have agreed to pay a total of $264 million in fines to settle allegations that the bank hired the friends and relatives of Chinese government officials in exchange for business.

The bank isn't being formally charged with wrongdoing, but by agreeing to pay the fines, it brings a three-year investigation by the U.S. government to a close.

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.

Never before has someone ascended to the presidency owning the kind of complex network of businesses that Donald Trump operates. Trump has promised to turn his company over to his three grown children to run once he's sworn in. But he has refused to do what other presidents have done to insulate himself from conflicts of interest.

The rallies and debates, the tweets and the fundraisers, the wearying last-minute swings through the same half-dozen or so battleground states — all that is winding down at last.

Today it was time for the two major presidential candidates to perform the Election Day ritual of casting their own votes, just like average Joes, except for the fact that average Joes aren't usually trailed by dozens of reporters and TV cameras.

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