A Retirement “Gift” That’ll Make You Sick

Equifax (NYSE: EFX) CEO Richard Smith “retired” yesterday.

He walks away with salary and stock payouts worth, though some estimates vary, a potential $90.1 million.

Fortune did the math late yesterday and found that’s approximately 63 cents for every consumer whose information was exposed in Equifax’s data breach revealed earlier this month.

CNBC and CNN stoke investor and consumer anger, calling it a “botched ouster” and saying “if you’re not angry about Equifax, you should be.”

The Seattle Times reports San Francisco yesterday became the first municipality in America to sue Equifax over the data breach.

This is in addition to a building wave of consumer-led class action lawsuits underway.

The New York Times late last week summed it up, “As Equifax amassed ever more data, safety was a sales pitch.”

Let’s review. Consumer data was exposed.

Equifax’s protection protocols were exposed as useless.

The CEO falls on his sword and gets up to $90 million over time to do so.

Bloomberg and Reuters report Senator Mark Warner now “questions Equifax’s right to continue business…”

And the result for now is this choice quote from an industry analyst on CEO Richard Smith’s departure: “This is the type of mea culpa that plays well on Capitol Hill.”

“Plays well on Capitol Hill.”

Warning: Excessive spin can cause nausea.

The market has to be gutting EFX shares, right? Wrong! Mr. Market sees a fallen angel. Shares rally:

EFX chart

EFX shares are up $0.91 this morning pre-market at $107.

Turning now to the markets otherwise…

Market Rundown for Wednesday, September 27

S&P 500 Futures are up 4.50 this morning, sitting exactly at 2,500 at writing.

Oil’s up a tick at $51.98. Gold’s off nearly $10 at $1,292.

Bitcoin’s back over $4,000 this morning, at $4,070.

Dollar index sits this morning, according to Bloomberg, at 93.42. Good week shaping up for the dollar. After a dip, it’s essentially flat for the month.

Let’s hear your take. Trump’s political capital: Up or down?

Failed CEOs and $90 million payouts: Symptom of a real problem or just the way of things?

The Senate’s Obamacare repeal “failure”: The Swamp at work? Or temporary setback?

Send your thoughts to the email address below.

Now, “on to tax reform,” the mainstream media says. Another idea that “plays well on Capitol Hill.”

Talk to you again on Friday.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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