From Enron to Saudi Arabia, from Rikers Island to ICE's gulag, how McKinsey serves as "Capitalism's Consigliere"

On this week's Intercepted podcast (MP3) (previously), host Jeremy Scahill (previously) takes a long, deep look at the history of McKinsey and Company, whose consultants are the architects of ICE's gulags, a failed, high-cost initiative to curb violence at Rikers Island that used falsified data to secure ongoing funding — a company whose internal documents compare management consultants to "the Marine Corps, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Jesuits" and whose government contracts bill out freshly hired, inexperienced junior consultants at $3m/year.

McKinsey's internal mythology compares management consultants to "the Marine Corps, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Jesuits"

Consulting giant McKinsey is embroiled is a string of scandals, from the revelation thatit designed ICE's gulags to the news that it charged New York $27.5m for a fraudulent (and worse-than-useless) violence reduction program for Rikers Island, to the news that it charges US governments $3m/year for advice from fresh-out-of-college, inexperienced 23-year-olds.

NYC paid McKinsey $27.5m to reduce violence at Riker's, producing useless recommendations backed by junk evidence

Consulting giant McKinsey — notorious price-gougers and architects of ICE's gulags — took on a contract to help reduce violence at Riker's Island, and, $27.5m later, produced nothing but a set of trite and pointless recommendations that were largely ignored, backed by "research" that both McKinsey personnel and Riker's guards helped to falsify.

McKinsey, the standard-bearer for autocrats, looters and torturers

In a deeply researched longread, New York Times investigative reporters Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe document in fine detail the role played by the ubiquitous McKinsey and Company in legitimizing, coordinating, and supercharging the world's most notorious human-rights-abusing regimes, from Saudi Arabia to China to Russia.

The plane(t) has been hijacked by billionaires, and we're all passengers

Anand Giridharadas is the Aspen Institute Fellow and former McKinsey consultant whose book Winners Take All is a must-read indictment of the way that charitable activities are used to launder the reputations of billionaires who have looted and boiled our planet, amassing titanic fortunes while starving the public coffers, and still retaining sterling reputations and massive influence thanks to the trickle of funds they release through "philanthropy."

Winners Take All: the Davos Edition (how elites launder looting with phoney philanthropy)

With the World Economic Forum kicking off in Davos, Switzerland — where the super-rich are already decrying Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's massively popular 70% tax-rate on earning over $10,000,000 — it's a great time to revisit Anand Giridharadas's must-read 2018 book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, in which the former McKinsey consultant and Aspen Institute fellow catalogs the way that the super-rich have starved their host-nations of the funds needed to operate a functional civilization, and then laundered their reputations by dribbling back some of that looted booty in the form of "philanthropic donations" that always seem to redound to their personal benefit.

Winners Take All: Modern philanthropy means that giving some away is more important than how you got it

Anand Giridharadas was a former McKinsey consultant turned "thought leader," invited to the stages of the best "ideas festivals" and to TED (twice), the author of some very good and successful books, and as a kind of capstone to this career, he was named a fellow to the Aspen Institute, an elite corps of entrepreneurs who are given institutional support and advice as they formulate "win-win" solutions to the world's greatest problems, harnessing the power of markets to lift people out of poverty and oppression.

Debunking the NYT feature on the wastefulness of data-centers

This weekend's NYT carried an alarming feature article on the gross wastefulness of the data-centers that host the world's racks of server hardware. James Glanz's feature, The Cloud Factory, painted a picture of grotesque waste and depraved indifference to the monetary and environmental costs of the "cloud," and suggested that the "dirty secret" was that there were better ways of doing things that the industry was indifferent to. — Read the rest