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McKinsey & Company is a management consulting firm with offices in downtown Boston, which advises an array of prominent government as well as corporate clients. McKinsey has supported and profited from Israeli colonialism, US imperialism, capitalist austerity and neoliberalism, policing, violence against migrants, and the opioid epidemic.

Profiting from Israeli colonialism

McKinsey & Company maintains offices in Israel and provides consulting services to both Israeli companies and the Israeli state. Like other US consulting firms, McKinsey peddles Israeli state propaganda, writing on its website, "Like the country we call home, McKinsey's Israel office is a hub of innovation." Through its dissemination of such propaganda, McKinsey willfully supports the Israeli state's ongoing effort to positively "brand Israel" as a "start-up nation" and a hub of innovation, in an attempt to whitewash over the realities of Israeli colonial subjugation of Palestinians and theft of Palestinian land and resources.

Profiting from US imperialism

McKinsey & Company has worked closely with multiple US federal agencies, including the US Department of Defense (which oversees the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, and other branches of the US armed services) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), advising these arms of US military power on how best to carry out their regimes of violence and repression.

McKinsey has also provided consulting services to governments and government bodies which promote the interests of US empire around the world. For example, McKinsey was hired by Puerto Rico's "Fiscal Control Board" to advise the Board on how Puerto Rico should pay back its "debt" (a "debt" which is, in reality, the result of devastation wrought upon the Island by over a century of exploitation and plunder by US colonialism). Puerto Rico's Fiscal Control Board is a body established by the United States through the PROMSA Act. The Board directs the Puerto Rico's economic affairs and is accountable to the economic interests of the wealthy US individuals and corporations who own shares in the Island's "debt" (the board is commonly known amongst Puerto Ricans as la junta de control, in a not unfounded reference to the military "juntas" which the United States and its backers have repeatedly imposed upon nations across Central and South America and the Caribbean over the past century). While the people of Puerto Rico were struggling to rebuild following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in 2017, McKinsey was advising this colonial fiscal control board to suffocate the island with policies of intense economic austerity meant to free up resources Puerto Rico could use to pay back in full the "debt" in which US billionaires and corporations had bought shares for pennies on the dollar. Worse yet, McKinsey itself was at the time one of these US corporations invested in Puerto Rico's debt through bonds it had purchased which entitled McKinsey to receive a large payout if and when the debt was paid back--meaning that McKinsey was advocating for the further impoverishment of Puerto Rico in order to free up resources to flow to McKinsey itself.

As another example, McKinsey helped develop the blueprint for a new "progressive" image for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia a critical outpost of US empire in West Asia, and was thus a prime candidate to receive such consulting services from McKinsey. Saudi Arabia is also, however, a literal monarchy which, according to Amnesty International, regularly harasses, tortures, and executes women's rights activists, relatives of activists, journalists, and members of the country's Shia minority, all while spearheading a barbaric (US-backed) campaign of airstrikes and blockade against Yemen, which has precipitated conditions of mass starvation and an epidemic of Cholera amongst the Yemeni people.

Profiting from US tracking, detention, and deportation of migrants

As reported by Propublica in 2019, McKinsey & Company worked in an advisory role for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help ICE find "detention savings opportunities" within its brutal regime of tracking, detention, and deportation of Black and Brown migrants. Recommendations McKinsey made to ICE included "proposed cuts in spending on food for migrants, as well as on medical care and supervision of detainees." Propublica further notes that "McKinsey’s team also looked for ways to accelerate the deportation process, provoking worries among some ICE staff members that the recommendations risked short-circuiting due process protections for migrants fighting removal from the United States."

Profiting from the opioid epidemic

In 2021, McKinsey & Company was forced to pay out $573 million to 47 states (including Massachusetts), per the terms of a settlement the firm reached over its role in driving the catastrophic opioid epidemic in the US. The Washington Post reports that McKinsey "was intimately involved in the drugmaker’s push to expand its market, according to the states, helping to fend off Food and Drug Administration restrictions and, at the height of the epidemic, developing a multipoint plan for the drug company to 'turbocharge' sales." WaPo further reports on a lawsuit filed against McKinsey by the state of Massachusetts: "McKinsey partners were part of an 'Executive Oversight Team and Project Management Office, reporting to Purdue’s Executive Committee, the Purdue board, and with the Sacklers, individually,' according to the lawsuit. McKinsey conducted market research, attended ride-alongs with Purdue sales representatives promoting OxyContin and monitored Purdue sales representatives."

Profiting from capitalist austerity and neoliberalism

McKinsey & Company boasts that they provide consulting services to 90 of the 100 largest corporations worldwide. How does McKinsey advise these ultra-wealthy and influential corporations? As the Washington Post reports

The key to management consulting firms’ function is in the word management. Management consultants work for a company’s executives, not its employees, and the hiring of one is often a sign that layoffs are imminent. Wendell Potter, a former vice president at the health insurer Cigna, says "it was clear that when [a management consulting firm] was brought in there would be layoffs. In my own department, there were times when I had to lay people off because off because of McKinsey’s work.

Indeed, McKinsey has repeatedly advised its ultra-wealthy corporate clients to cut costs and maximize profits through downsizing (i.e. massive layoffs of employees) and through the offloading of corporate costs onto consumers, as when McKinsey advised Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to raise premiums on plan holders in order to maximize BCBS of Michigan's profits. McKinsey sustains its intimate and mutually beneficial connections with such a large proportion of the world's wealthiest corporations through a perverse revolving door between McKinsey and these corporations themselves: The Atlantic reported that, as of 2020, 70 Fortune 500 CEOs were themselves McKinsey alumni, further detailing that a greater share of McKinsey employees become CEOs than do employees from any other firm or company worldwide. The elite academic institution of Harvard Business School, which is itself deeply interconnected with the world's wealthiest corporations, sends nearly a quarter of its graduates to McKinsey annually.

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