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Despite breach, Equifax bags $7.3M IRS contract; ex-CEO to face Senate panel

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Despite breach, Equifax bags $7.3M IRS contract; ex-CEO to face Senate panel

After questioning and criticizing Wells Fargo & Co. President and CEO Timothy Sloan yesterday — with Sen. Elizabeth Warren calling for Sloan's ouster — members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs may grill Richard Smith, Equifax Inc.'s recently retired chairman and CEO, in a hearing at 10 a.m. ET today.

Yesterday, Smith stood before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and told them that the recent cybersecurity breach at Equifax stemmed from a mistake made by a single person, subsequently followed by a technological error. Despite all that, Politico reports that the Internal Revenue Service has awarded Equifax a contract worth about $7.3 million to verify taxpayer identities and help prevent fraud.

Smith is also set to field questions from the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow.

Also facing the House Financial Services Committee is SEC Chairman Jay Clayton at a hearing titled "Examining the SEC's Agenda, Operations, and Budget" at 10 a.m. ET today. Clayton who has already testified before the Senate Banking Committee on Sept. 26 — said he intends to request a bigger budget for the agency in 2018 to fortify its cybersecurity defenses.

In cryptocurrency news, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein is yet to take a stand on bitcoin, following a report by The Wall Street Journal that the global investment bank may establish digital currency trading operations. In a tweet yesterday, Blankfein said "Still thinking about #Bitcoin. No conclusion — not endorsing/rejecting. Know that folks also were skeptical when paper money displaced gold."

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: Barclays names regional banking head; Asian banks join hands for blockchain

Europe: UBS CEO expects huge job cuts; ECB drafts new NPL rules; Orange Bank to launch

Middle East & Africa: UAE banks intensify talks about Qatar exposures; Moody's reviewing Kenya

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.73% to 28,379.18, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.06% to 20,626.66.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 dropped 0.07% to 7,462.69, and the Euronext 100 had fallen 0.30% to 1,041.48.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications report, the ADP Employment Report, the PMI Services Index, the ISM non-manufacturing index report and the EIA petroleum status report are due out today.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.