To the Editor:
In a May 19 article, (Bankers Trust Stock Takes a Beating Amid Questions About Succession, page 1), Stephen Kleege reported that uncertainty surrounding our chairman's recent retirement announcement sent Bankers Trust's stock into a two-day slide. The more accurate conclusion from a review of market activity is that the stock has traded within the general range of our financial peers and the overall market.
On Wednesday, immediately after Mr. (Charles) Sanford's announcement, the stock opened flat and moved down throughout the day as did most other financial stocks. Over the two-day period that Mr. Kleege reviews, Bankers Trust's stock declined by 2.95%. Wholesale firms to which we are often compared fell by a larger percentage including Morgan Stanley, down 4.08%, and Salomon Inc., down 3.51%. Others in our peer group, such as Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns, were down more than 6%. On the commercial bank side, Bank of America fell 2.91% and Citi was down 2.43%. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 2.13%.
While admittedly these facts do not make as interesting a story as Mr. Kleege has chosen to write, they do produce a more accurate one. Douglas B. Kidd Managing director, corporate affairs Bankers Trust New York Editor's Note: In trading on May 17 and May 18, Bankers Trust shares declined 2.95%, compared with a decline of 1.09% in the American Banker index of the top 50 banks in market capitalization. Equity analysts quoted in the story attributed the decline to investors' uncertainty about succession. An early version of the story noted that part of Bankers Trust's slippage could be attributed to an overall decline in the market. Unfortunately, this was cut in the production process.