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When McKinsey comes to town : the hidden influence of the world's most powerful consulting firm
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Publishers Weekly Review
New York Times reporters Bogdanich and Forsythe peel back the layers of secrecy surrounding management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in this revelatory and often shocking account. Drawing on interviews with "nearly one hundred current and former McKinsey employees," as well as client and billing records, the authors uncover a devastating pattern of harm caused by greed, conflicts of interest, and unethical behavior. The company's "long-standing policy" of advising competing organizations with conflicting interests is a recurrent theme: McKinsey simultaneously advised a Chinese engineering firm responsible for building military bases in contested waters of the South China Sea and the U.S. Defense Department, which is opposed to those incursions, and helped develop Illinois's plan to privatize Medicaid services without disclosing its ties to managed care companies that profited from those changes. The authors also delve into McKinsey's "deeply political" work helping the Saudi Arabian government to "smoke out influential malcontents" on social media; its entanglement with government corruption in South Africa; and its plans to help Purdue Pharma "turbocharge" OxyContin sales and vaping company Juul to avoid FDA regulations while selling millions of its devices to teenagers. Scrupulously documented and fluidly written, this is a jaw-dropping feat of investigative journalism. (Oct.)
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