Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Allied Irish Banks (NYSE: AIB) dropped 10% in intraday trading today. The Irish bank announced that it's selling its 22% stake in U.S.-based M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB) for $77.50 per share, below previous expectations.

So What: Ireland's banking industry -- and Allied Irish Banks in particular -- has been a mess lately. The Irish government has had to step in to keep the bank afloat even as the bank scrambles to find ways to shore up its balance sheet. Allied Irish Banks had hoped to get a better price for its M&T Bank shares and was even in talks with Banco Santander (NYSE: STD) about a potential merger between M&T Bank and Santander's Sovereign Bancorp.

Now What: The sale of the M&T Bank stake does tie up one of Allied Irish Banks' loose ends and will give its balance sheet some additional liquidity. However, it still doesn't change the fact that the government is stepping in to take a controlling stake in the bank because the situation is so bleak. The stock is little more than a speculation -- a speculation that I'm steering clear of.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his Motley Fool CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookies were harmed in the making of this article.