House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach in Tokyo on Friday used the Asian economic crisis as an opportunity to repeat his warning against nonfinancial firms' buying commercial banks.

"The chaebols of Korea, the keiretsus of Japan, and cartels of Indonesia have lessons for the United States," Rep. Leach told a group of Japanese executives. "Those who today actively advocate financial modernization legislation in Congress which mixes commerce and banking might want to take a hard look at the kinds of conflicts of interest endemic to systems that have allowed such mixing."

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