World and Nation

Shorts (left)

Washoe County Will Likely Tip Nevada’s Election Outcome

There are swing states, and within them, swing counties. Here in northern Nevada, there are also swing streets.

Living on one of them, York Way, a busy residential street of single-family homes, is Delta Limon, 42, a Democrat born in Mexico who feels a fissure between her beliefs that Sen. Barack Obama is on her side of the immigration debate but not conservative enough on gay rights.

A few houses away, her neighbor Roger Rowland, a 58-year-old electrician, voted for President Bush twice and feels let down, yet is unable to settle between between Obama, the Democrat, and Sen. John McCain, the Republican.

Other neighbors are Joe Beard, 64, who would no sooner vote for Obama than volunteer for space travel, and Brian and Becky Solomon, new parents in their mid-20s who just as strongly back Obama.

In the emergent swing state of Nevada, Washoe County — home to Reno and Sparks — is the most pendular county of all. Reliably Republican for years, the Republican Party’s voter registration advantage has narrowed to 5,000 people from 17,000 in just the last year.

Radical Shift for Goldman Sachs And Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the last big independent investment banks on Wall Street, will transform themselves into bank holding companies subject to far greater regulation, the Federal Reserve said Sunday night, a move that fundamentally reshapes an era of high finance that defined the modern Gilded Age.

The firms requested the change themselves, even as Congress and the Bush administration rushed to pass a $700 billion rescue of financial firms. It was a blunt acknowledgment that their model of finance and investing had become too risky and that they needed the cushion of bank deposits that had kept big commercial banks like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase relatively safe amid the recent turmoil.

It also is a turning point for the high-rolling culture of Wall Street, with its seven-figure bonuses and lavish perks for even midlevel executives. It effectively returns Wall Street to the way it was structured before Congress passed a law during the Great Depression separating investment banking from commercial banking, known as the Glass-Steagall Act.

Foreign Nations Pledge Support for Bailout Plan

The United States, having expanded its proposed rescue of the financial sector to include foreign banks, has not yet found any other country willing to join the landmark bailout.

The Treasury Department still hopes to marshal a worldwide effort to cleanse the balance sheets of banks. But Europe and Japan have signaled that they are not ready to mount a rescue of the kind being debated here.

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. continues to solicit support from foreign governments. His department plans to prod them by giving preference to banks from countries that show a willingness to help the American effort, a senior administration official said Monday.

“We expect other countries to do their part, but we’re not insisting their programs be exactly like ours,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We’re certainly not prepared to put ourselves in a position where there’s a free-rider problem.”