The distance between New York and Washington has often been greater than the 228 miles that separate the two cities. Now, one year after the beginning of the financial meltdown, Wall Street companies are paying increasing attention to life in D.C., sending executives and representatives to the capital in numbers not likely seen before. In the new climate, execs ignore changes in Washington at their own peril, The Washington Post reports. "In the old days, Washington was refereeing from the sideline," Mohamed A. el-Erian, CEO of Pimco, the world's largest bond fund, said. "In the new world, we're going toward, not only is Washington refereeing from the field, but it is also in some respects a player as well... And that changes the dynamics significantly."