Financial 411: Forest City Ratner Makes Its Stamp on the City

Oil, Gas Prices Rises on Mid-East Unrest

Fighting in Libya and unrest throughout the Middle East sent the price of a barrel of oil soaring to more than $108. That's a 30-month high. The price of gas continues to rise too. The Energy Department said an average gallon now costs $3.68 cents, up 9 cents from last week. In New York State, it's $3.84.

Toyota to Close North American Factories

A spokesman for Toyota said a shortage of parts in disaster-stricken Japan is likely to force the company to shut down its North American factories. The shutdowns will likely take place later this month, and affect about 25,000 workers. No layoffs are expected, and the length of the shutdowns is still unknown.

The Dow ended with a gain of 23 points to close at 12,400.

The S&P 500 was up slightly, but remained virtually unchanged at 1,333.

The NASDAQ fell slightly, ending at 2,790.

Forest City Ratner and Financial Risks

A basketball arena in Brooklyn. A soaring, sculptural tower in downtown Manhattan. A flashy, new headquarters for a major newspaper. Those are some of the projects in development or recently completed by Forest City Ratner.

The real estate developer is putting its stamp on our city, and taking on some pretty big financial risks to do so.

So writes Eliot Brown in today's Wall Street Journal. He talks about the controversy surrounding the Atlantic Yards basketball arena and residential complex, as well as several other financially risky projects the developer is undertaking.

A Look at the Week Ahead

The big news this week is the battle in Congress over this year's current budget and next year's. There's yet another threat of a government shut down if lawmakers can't ink out a deal. WNYC's Business Editor Charlie Herman said it looks like Democrats and Republicans are finding some common ground on this year's budget — but there are no guarantees. And, he said, House Republicans are set to propose their spending plan for 2012 this week as well, setting the battleground for the 2012 election.