It was announced with great fanfare: a consortium of seven eastern states, led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will put their heads together to come up with the best possible plan to reopen.
“We are reaching out to top experts and other professionals to come up with a bullet-proof plan,” Cuomo announced, with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declaring that it will be a “Trump-proof” plan.
But critics were alarmed when it was revealed that the states weren’t putting their own experts together.
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They had hired a consulting firm.
Specifically, they’ve hired McKinsey & Company to produce the data models that will drive the states’ decisions.
And McKinsey has what can only be described as a troubling history both at home and abroad – including its six locations inside China, where the pandemic began the government is accused of trying to cover it up.
Simply being present in China requires not just cooperation with the Communist Party that firmly controls the nation, but a tacit agreement not to do anything to tick them off.
The NBA learned last year that angering China can lead to devastating financial consequences.
And Hollywood films are terrified of portraying the country in a negative light for dear of losing Chinese box office earnings.
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Is there any chance at all that McKinsey doesn’t have those same concerns?
The New York Times reported in 2018 that the company has advised 22 of China’s 100 biggest state-owned companies on some of their most divisive issues and what the newspaper called “deeply troubled” deals.
“Washington has become increasingly critical of some of Beijing’s signature policies,” the Times reported. “Including the ones McKinsey has helped advance.”
The company told the Times that “we do not support or engage in political activities.”
But the extent of its business in – and with – China has critics asking questions. Rolling Stone found an archived version of the McKinsey Greater China website detailing that 30 percent of the company’s clients in the country were state-owned businesses in sectors “ranging from oil and gas, to technology and telecommunications, to banking and insurance.”
The McKinsey problem isn’t limited to Cuomo and the other eastern governors.
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In fact, it gets downright swampy.
Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald Trump, is reportedly working with the company’s consultants, according to Politico.
And the Trump administration itself has given McKinsey lucrative contracts.
USASpending.gov details $51 million in federal contracts over the past 12 months alone, including at least $20 million just this year and contracts that began during the pandemic.
The Department of Veterans Affairs gave the company a $5 million contract on March 20 that could balloon to $20 million, while the Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $1.7 million contract that could swell to $6.8 million.
But this isn’t uncommon for the company; New York magazine said they have a history of playing “both sides” in any spat – and it looks like they’re happy to cash in on both Cuomo and Trump, America and China.
In some cases, the Times report notes, McKinsey has managed to represent both sides of a deal.
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The problem is not just a massive conflict of interest on every level.
It’s that McKinsey’s advice to corporate America has led to many of the problems the U.S. is now facing – including shortages in crucial supplies such as masks and medication.
American Greatness editor Chris Buskirk called McKinsey “the super-spreader of an intellectual virus that has infected American business” with the two key steps the firm has pushed on U.S. corporations.
First, shift production overseas.
And second, keep inventories lean.
That resulted in the supply-chain disaster we see right now, as essential equipment is now made overseas, is out of stock and almost impossible to find as much of what is made is being kept in China.
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Buskirk also noted that McKinsey or its players have had a hand in everything from Enron to the opioid crisis to the mortgage meltdown.
“America deserves better,” he concluded. “As we cope with the combination of a dangerous public health threat and an unfolding economic disaster – and all of the human suffering that entails – we need better. Much better.”
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”