WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked the New York Stock Exchange to conduct an inquiry to determine whether its members have heavy concentrations of New York City or Philadelphia bonds, the commission's chairman, Richard Breeden, said this week.

Mr. Breeden was responding to a May 23 letter from Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee's subcommittee on securities, who warned that a bond default by a major city could have serious consequences for investors, broker dealers, and the bond market in general, particularly in the current economic environment.

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