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When McKinsey Comes to Town
When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm | Michael Forsythe, Walt Bogdanich
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An explosive, deeply reported expos of McKinsey & Company, the international consulting firm that advises corporations and governments, that highlights the often drastic impact of its work on employees and citizens around the world "Meticulously reported, and ultimately devastating, this is an important book." Patrick Radden Keefe, New York Times bestselling author of Empire of Pain and Say Nothing McKinsey & Company is the most prestigious consulting company in the world, earning billions of dollars in fees from major corporations and governments who turn to it to maximize their profits and enhance efficiency. McKinsey's vaunted statement of values asserts that its role is to make the world a better place, and its reputation for excellence and discretion attracts top talent from universities around the world. But what does it actually do? In When McKinsey Comes to Town, two prizewinning investigative journalists have written a portrait of the company sharply at odds with its public image. Often McKinsey's advice boils down to major cost-cutting, including layoffs and maintenance reductions, to drive up short-term profits, thereby boosting a company's stock price and the wealth of its executives who hire it, at the expense of workers and safety measures. McKinsey collects millions of dollars advising government agencies that also regulate McKinsey's corporate clients. And the firm frequently advises competitors in the same industries, but denies that this presents any conflict of interest. In one telling example, McKinsey advised a Chinese engineering company allied with the communist government which constructed artificial islands, now used as staging grounds for the Chinese Navywhile at the same time taking tens of millions of dollars from the Pentagon, whose chief aim is to counter Chinese aggression. Shielded by NDAs, McKinsey has escaped public scrutiny despite its role in advising tobacco and vaping companies, purveyors of opioids, repressive governments, and oil companies. McKinsey helped insurance companies' boost their profits by making it incredibly difficult for accident victims to get payments; worked its U.S. government contacts to let Wall Street firms evade scrutiny; enabled corruption in developing countries such as South Africa; undermined health-care programs in states across the country. And much more. Bogdanich and Forsythe have penetrated the veil of secrecy surrounding McKinsey by conducting hundreds of interviews, obtaining tens of thousands of revelatory documents, and following rule #1 of investigative reporting: Follow the money. When McKinsey Comes to Town is a landmark work of investigative reporting that amounts to a devastating portrait of a firm whose work has often made the world more unequal, more corrupt, and more dangerous.
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I didn‘t know that much about McKinsey, having not really worked in corporate or public sector circles. I can see why it‘s attractive to those aspirational graduates (money!) but, really, once you get higher up you need to be amoral, or even immoral to work there.

It‘s almost cult-like in its secrecy and I just don‘t understand how organisations can spend millions for it‘s cookie-cutter approach.

A great listen!


Megabooks Glad you enjoyed it too! 4mo
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Sadly there wasn‘t anything here that shocked or surprised me…was I disturbed, absolutely but this is exactly the type of behavior I‘ve come to expect from a world renowned “gold standard” consulting firm. Big money, big egos, big A-holes. It‘s all about power, prestige and huge paychecks. #NonfictionNovember College kids being recruited by McK is a feather in their cap but also a stain on their soul.

Megabooks Fantastic review!! 👍🏻🤩 4mo
Leftcoastzen Wonderful review! I want to read it , I‘m sure it‘s infuriating! 4mo
Cinfhen Ugh, BEYOND infuriating @Leftcoastzen @Megabooks the level of greed and duplicity!!! And our countries best & brightest are selling their souls to work for these people😢 4mo
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squirrelbrain I just finished this on my car journey today. Will review tomorrow but your review says it all really! 4mo
TrishB Wow 😯 great review 4mo
BarbaraBB Stellar review. I expected as much but still am intrigued by the book! 4mo
Cinfhen Thanks @squirrelbrain @TrishB @BarbaraBB such a bunch of self righteous assholes!! Ugh , the hypocrisy!! 4mo
CarolynM What gets me is that companies keep paying the big bucks to these turkeys for their one size fits all approach 😡 When will they realise they are not getting value for money? 4mo
Cinfhen So true!!! And they are paying BIG BIG BUCKS @CarolynM 4mo
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I feel much the same way upon finishing this as I did after reading Empire of Pain—disgusted and very thankful for investigative journalists who shine a light on the deeply troubling practices of the rich and powerful.

Thanks @Megabooks for putting this on my radar. Great audiobook!

Megabooks So glad you enjoyed it too! Or maybe enjoy isn‘t the right word… It is a great piece of investigative journalism. 5mo
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💯 full stop one of my favorite nonfiction reads this year!! 5⭐️

McKinsey is a large, international consulting firm with a huge roster of clients in virtually every industry on six continents. The authors were able to get McKinsey‘s top secret list of clients. They did a great job of building the tension from one egregious act to the next…working with ICE in the US ➡️ working with MBS in Saudi Arabia* ➡️ helping dismantle the NHS in the UK. 😤

Megabooks *There were lots of other stops on this “worst-of” tour of their work, but the MBS chapter was the most interesting. They made a connection between the research and information they gave MBS and the person that led his henchmen to Khashoggi and his murder. The whole book was fascinating!! (edited) 5mo
vivastory Well, this just immediately went onto my TBR 5mo
Megabooks @vivastory you‘d definitely find this interesting!! 5mo
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vivastory I see PR Keefe also praised it. Praised by Keefe AND Meg! Good enough for me 👏 5mo
Megabooks @vivastory I rarely read nonfiction like this in a day, but I could not put this down! I think the last heavy nonfiction book I read this quickly was Empire of Pain. 😂 5mo
Bookwormjillk That sounds amazing! Going to look for it now. 5mo
Megabooks @Bookwormjillk yay! Enjoy! 5mo
BarbaraBB This sounds fantastic 5mo
Cinfhen Our very good friend‘s future SIL just took a job with this firm !!! Super curious to read this!! #Stacked 5mo
squirrelbrain Sounds perfect for me…going to see if I can find it anywhere…. 5mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain yes, you‘d definitely find this interesting! 5mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I have a friend who is a senior partner and has had a 20+ year career with them. I don‘t think she‘s worked on any of these projects, but it‘s such a secretive company. Idk anything other than the city she works in and the main industry. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 5mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB it was really interesting!!! 5mo
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