When McKinsey Comes to Town

The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm

Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe | 2022, Penguin Books

An explosive expose of the world’s most prestigious and successful management consultancy. ‘Panoramic, meticulously reported and ultimately devastating’ Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Empire of Pain McKinsey, earns billions advising almost every major corporation and countless governments, including Britain’s, the USA’s and China’s.

It boasts of maximising efficiency while making the world a better place. Its millionaire partners and alumni network go on to top jobs in the world’s most powerful organisations. And yet, shielded by non-disclosure agreements, its work remains largely secret – until now. In this propulsive investigation, two prize-winning journalists reveal the reality. McKinsey’s work includes ruthless cost-cutting in the NHS, incentivising the prescription of opioids and executing Trump’s immigration policies (the ones that put children in cages).

Meanwhile, its vast profits derive from a client roster including the coal and tobacco industries and some of the world’s most unsavoury despots. McKinsey proudly insists it is a values-led organisation.

When McKinsey Comes to Town is a parable of values betrayed: a devastating portrait of a firm whose work has often made the world more unequal, corrupt, and dangerous.

*A The Times Best Book of 2022. ‘A story of secrecy, delusion and untold harm’ Observer ‘Astonishing … makes you so angry you want to chuck rocks at its offices’ Sunday Times ‘Every page made my blood boil’ Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel laureate.