Last night a thief smashed through the window of the car belonging to the head of the Bank of Canada, former Goldman Sachs veteran Mark Carney.Carney was with Goldman for 13 years as the co-head of sovereign risk, the executive director of the emerging debt capital markets, and the managing director of investment banking.
The car – a Chrysler with slightly tinted windows – was parked in busy downtown Montreal when it was burgled.
Thieves stole Carney’s travel bag, which contained classified government documents, the Globe and Mail reports.
The incident is being blamed on the governor’s chauffeur who, the government says, left the car unattended while the the banker was at a meeting – something the agency’s three official drivers are, of course, not supposed to do.
The documents had “differing levels of security classification,” the central bank said, and included information like staff reports and briefing notes. They say there were no details in the pilfered papers about the direction of interest rates or other intensely sensitive information.
But it’s humiliating for the bank.
Imagine if the stolen papers talked about interest-rate decisions, quarterly economic forecasts or any other juicy nugget that could seriously affect markets.
On the occasions that the bank does decide to release information to journalists, for example, they’re “escorted by an armed guard to a basement room where they turn in their electronic devices and remain “locked up” with the material until the time it’s set to be released,” the Globe and Mail explains.
From the Globe and Mail,
Ian Lee, the MBA director at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, called the theft “downright embarrassing.”
“If it was sort of three levels down or four levels down from the governor, that would be one thing, but when it’s so close to the ‘office of,’ it gives cause for alarm.”
The worst thing? This is not the first time this has happened to a government official since current leader, Stephen Harper’s second term began.
- In 2008, then-foreign affairs minister, Maxime Bernier was forced to resign after top-secret briefing notes concerning a NATO summit fell into the hands of a lover who had ties to biker gangs.
- In 2009, then-natural resources minister, Lisa Raitt, left classified documents about Canada’s nuclear industry at a CTV office.
Authorities have recovered the travel bag but haven’t been able to confirm if all that was inside is still there, and there’s been no arrests. And no word yet on whether the errant driver has been disciplined.