McKinsey & Company consulting firm draws heat for work done on Trump Administration border policy and authoritarian governments


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On December 5, the lead editorial in the New York Times criticized potential Democratic presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg for his silence on the three years he spent as a consultant with the giant consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

According to the Times editorial:

“The Times reported this week that the consulting firm has advised the Trump administration on the logistics of its cruel crackdown on immigration. McKinsey also has offered its services as a consultant to brutal and corrupt governments and state-owned enterprises in other countries, including China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Buttigieg has criticized the company, and cast the troubles as largely postdating his tenure. “As somebody who left the firm a decade ago, seeing what certain people in that firm have decided to do is extremely frustrating and extremely disappointing,” he told CNN.”

But that’s an incomplete answer. Mr. Buttigieg needs to explain what he did at McKinsey.

For America’s newspaper of record to use its lead editorial to put pressure on a presidential candidate to reveal the clients he worked for during his tenure at McKinsey, suggests the deep-seated suspicion many informed observers now have of the ethical judgement McKinsey shows when choosing its clients and projects. According to a former McKinsey consultant describing in detail how McKinsey screens its clients, “What the client selection process means in practice is that the firm doesn’t work with North Korea, but that’s about it.”

But it wasn’t always this way.

Few companies in any industry had built a reputation for leadership that McKinsey & Company had in the world of management consulting. In its 92-year history, McKinsey has become a global giant with 127 offices around the globe, more than 27,000 employees and annual revenue of more than $10 billion.