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What: Shares of investment bank Morgan Stanley
So what: Morgan Stanley is widely seen as the major U.S. bank most exposed to the turbulence in the eurozone, and those concerns may have been stoked further after the eurozone-bet-linked bankruptcy of broker MF Global
Greece's call for a referendum vote on the bailout package could put the country's rescue package at risk and potentially lead to a disorderly default for the country. The latter could lead to market dislocations and increased bets against other fiscally troubled countries like Italy and Spain, which would hurt exposed banks like Morgan Stanley.
Now what: With the disaster of MF Global fresh in investors' minds, they may be being particularly harsh with Morgan Stanley's stock today. Notably, though, Morgan Stanley doesn't have the same level of exposure that MF Global did, and also has a broader business and capital base to protect it from a similar fate. Now is that a guarantee that the worst-case scenario couldn't come true for the bank? Unfortunately, no. While it may be a long shot, the unraveling of MF Global is a reminder that when you depend on the confidence of counterparties to stay afloat, a situation can go from bad to worse very rapidly.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.
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