When McKinsey Comes to Town - The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm | How To Academy



Thu, 13 October 2022

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

When McKinsey Comes to Town – The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm

New York Times investigative journalists Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe

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The world’s most successful management consultancy has made the world more unequal, more corrupt and more dangerous.

McKinsey earns billions for its advice on enhancing efficiency and maximising profit, and has worked for 80 per cent of the companies in the Fortune 500 – basically every major corporation in the world – and countless governments and militaries, including our own. But, shielded by NDAs, McKinsey has escaped public scrutiny – until now.

In this livestream, in conversation event, prize-winning investigative journalists Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe will show how the company’s advice often boils down to major cost-cutting, including redundancies and maintenance reductions, to drive-up short-term profits, boosting the stock price and the wealth of the executives who hire them at the expense of workers and safety measures.

Some of McKinsey’s other work has included incentivising the most prolific and lax prescribers of opioids to prescribe more of them, and executing Trump’s immigration policies; the ones that resulted in children being separated from their parents and held in cages.

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-number one of investigative reporting: follow the money.

Praise for Walk Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe’s When McKinsey Comes to Town:

‘In government and the private sector, in the United States and around the world, the influence of McKinsey is difficult to overstate. Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe penetrate the firm’s vaunted culture of secrecy to expose the complicity of business consultants in abetting the conduct of unsavoury clients – from despots to opioid pushers – and the malign ways in which McKinsey’s “scientific management” ends up impacting all of our lives’ – Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Empire of Pain

‘Bogdanich and Forsythe show how McKinsey, rather than optimizing social welfare, optimizes corporate profits and greed. In doing so the Firm has become a super spreader of corporate misdeed and contributed to America’s growing inequality problem. Hypocrisy, avarice, ridiculous PowerPoints, aiding and abetting the world’s polluters and drug companies. Every page made my blood boil as I read about McKinsey’s flawed reasoning and the vast profits made from ethically dubious work for governments, polluting companies and big pharma’ – Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel laureate, author of The Price of Inequality

‘Two of the finest investigative reporters in the business got behind the wall of secrecy erected by one the world’s most influential companies. When McKinsey Comes to Town is a revelatory – and disturbing – portrait of a powerful firm whose vaunted reputation is belied by its actions’ – Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side

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Walt Bogdanich

Investigative Reporter, New York Times

Walt Bogdanich is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. He has been awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for his investigative journalism. He previously produced stories for “60 Minutes,” ABC News and The Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington. He has a B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University.

Michael Forsythe

Investigative Reporter, New York Times

Michael Forsythe is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. At Bloomberg was part of a team that won the George Polk Award in 2013. Mr. Forsythe is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served on ships in the Seventh Fleet. He has a B.A. in international economics from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.

Hannah MacInnes

Presenter, Podcaster and Host of How To Academy’s live programmes.

Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.