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McKinsey Managing Director Dominic Barton. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images

McKinsey & Co., the global consulting firm businesses and governments quietly use for complex and controversial projects, is getting pounded for its practices and secrecy. 

Why it matters: Like Facebook, McKinsey is getting hit with sustained negative media coverage and deep scrutiny for its techniques and mystery. Also like Facebook, The New York Times in particular sees it as a juicy investigatory target. 

Coverage from the past year:

  • Today: "In legal papers released in unredacted form on Thursday, the Massachusetts attorney general said McKinsey had helped the maker of OxyContin fan the flames of the opioid epidemic. McKinsey’s consultants, the attorney general revealed, had instructed the drug company, Purdue Pharma, on how to 'turbocharge' sales of OxyContin."
  • Front page, Dec. 31: "Attached to its evaluation was a single PowerPoint slide in which McKinsey described what it said was the potential partner’s strategy for winning mining permits. It included ... 'use of bribes.'"
  • Front page, Dec. 16: "This year’s McKinsey & Company retreat in China was one to remember. Hundreds of the company’s consultants frolicked in the desert, riding camels over sand dunes and mingling in tents linked by red carpets. Meetings took place in a cavernous banquet hall that resembled a sultan’s ornate court."
    • Among the photos: "Tents linked by red carpets at a McKinsey & Company retreat this year in Kashgar, China. ... Participants in the retreat chronicled activities like camel rides on Instagram. ... The Instagram posts from the retreat were in stark contrast to the nearby humanitarian crisis."
  • Front page, Nov. 4: "McKinsey produced a report that may have aided [a Saudi] crackdown on dissidents. ... McKinsey’s work in the kingdom grew from two Saudi projects in 2010 ... to almost 600 projects from 2011 to 2016."
  • July 10: "McKinsey Ends Work With ICE Amid Furor Over Immigration Policy."
  • Front page, June 27: "When the godfather of management consulting landed its biggest contract ever in Africa, it made the worst mistake in its storied nine-decade history."

Be smart: McKinsey, which was used to keeping a low profile in deference to its clients, now is likely to face a prolonged, painful examination of its dealings around the world that long were standard practice, but now will be seen in a new light.

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Go deeper

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida SunSentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.

Texas Republicans pass new congressional maps in their favor

Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas House voted 84-59 late Monday to approve new congressional district maps that reduce the number of districts with Black and Hispanic majorities, per the Texas Tribune.

Why it matters: The legislation comes after recent census figures found Texas' growing diverse population doesn't bode well for Republicans, who then worked to protect incumbents with the redrawn maps.

3 hours ago - World

North Korea's military fires another ballistic missile into sea

A woman in Seoul, South Korea, walks past a television image if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.