privatization, technological innovation & other familiar bromides
December 6, 2022 1:12 PM   Subscribe

The primary product sold by all management consultants – both software developers and strategic organisers – is the theology of capital. Review essay by Laleh Khalili on When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm. A US government website records federal contracts given to McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and others. Homeland Security and the Pentagon paid lavishly for ‘engaging human-centred design’, developing a ‘culture of continuous improvement’ and other meaningless bits of management-speak festooned with cryptic acronyms. Two contracts with the federal procurement agency, which earned McKinsey $1 billion between 2006 and 2019, had to be terminated because the company refused to submit to an audit.

McKinsey and Boston Consulting have provided the Saudi crown prince with the jargon of capitalist efficiency. McKinsey has been so entangled in Saudi government business that the Ministry of Planning is nicknamed the Ministry of McKinsey.

McKinsey also sketched the framework for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 – a festival of privatisation, technological innovation, commercial disruption and other familiar bromides – and Boston Consulting Group produced the final report. The crowning glory of bin Salman’s vision is Neom, a futuristic city being built near the Jordanian border in north-west Saudi Arabia. In the non-fantasy world, Neom is an inexhaustible resource for foreign consultants. In the fantasy world, the Neom plans drafted by McKinsey, Boston Consulting and Oliver Wyman include flying cars, robot maids, hologram faculty teachers, a giant artificial moon, glow-in-the-dark beach sand and a medical facility whose aim is to ‘modify the human genome to make people stronger’. Not to mention the Line, a pair of 105-mile-long buildings designed to accommodate nine million people. The marketing material calls it a ‘revolution in civilisation’.
posted by spamandkimchi (41 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
It's worth noting that the hiring of McKinsey was one of the nails in the coffin of Bob Chapek's tenure as Disney CEO.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:18 PM on December 6, 2022 [8 favorites]

I miss the ten-year-old Showtime sitcom House of Lies.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:34 PM on December 6, 2022 [5 favorites]

> The primary product sold by all management consultants – both software developers and strategic organisers – is the theology of capital. This holds that workers are expendable. They can be replaced by machines, or by harder-working employees grateful they weren’t let go in the last round of redundancies. Managers are necessary to the functioning of corporations – or universities, or non-profit organisations – and the more of them the better.

Even my non-profit corner of the working world has an organizational structure stuffed with people with job titles like Manager of Managerial Management* who live by whatever the trendy private sector managerial philosophy of the moment is, and there always seems to be enough money in the budget for one more of them.

* my department currently has a manager who essentially only manages one person, which is pretty good work if you can get it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:38 PM on December 6, 2022 [11 favorites]

Worst manager I ever had came from an Ivy League MBA and Boston Consulting group. Would say whatever the CEO wanted to hear and no regard for the people who actually got the work done.
posted by CostcoCultist at 1:41 PM on December 6, 2022 [10 favorites]

The London Review of Books, who published the original article, are really one of the best for interrogating capitalism. It’s not the primary focus of the magazine, so you don’t feel like you’re reading a Marxist publication, but the awareness of how capitalism causes problems is a refreshing read compared to most mainstream left-wing newspapers.
posted by The River Ivel at 2:28 PM on December 6, 2022 [17 favorites]

I’m reminded of multiple cases where one of the companies mentioned in this review was allowed to proceed with a plan which the client’s technical staff had identified as unworkable. 8 figures later, reality was acknowledged and said staff were asked to come up with a plan B to prevent complete failure.

Fans of professional management will be terribly unsurprised to learn that the lesson learned was to give the consultants even more money rather than showing them the door.
posted by adamsc at 2:30 PM on December 6, 2022 [11 favorites]

“the trendy private sector managerial philosophy”

Having gone through the Silicon Valley experience from 1980 to around 1994, and experiencing the roughly once a year training in the new version of that thing described in the above quote, I sit here wondering what exactly is the difference between management theories and maybe astrology? Or the revealed truths mumbled by some guru in a hotel ballroom during a $300 weekend of enlightenment? I would assume that economic theory, psychology, etc were science and that management theory would be refined over time, but no, it gets a new name, a new spin, a new NYT’s bestseller every so many months. Can I rightly assume that the audience for this stuff are fools?
posted by njohnson23 at 2:32 PM on December 6, 2022 [10 favorites]

CEOs are often (usually?) domineering fools who spend their lives being terrified of failure and no idea what do beyond randomly change plans and yell at people.

Management consultants make them feel like they’re actually competent, so of course they’re going to pay them a fortune.
posted by aramaic at 2:47 PM on December 6, 2022 [22 favorites]

in my most uncharitable moments I think some of these people just hook onto trending words and we don't hear the end of 'pivot' and 'disruption' etc for a few years till the next stupid word is trending

in my organization someone decided to shake IT up like an excitable child with a snowglobe, I'll spare details but for some reason everyone had to be in a 'squad' and the squad org chart was utter garbage and when I saw there was a Squad of Squads and this was real life and not some Terry Gilliam-inspired scene, well I just gave up
posted by elkevelvet at 2:53 PM on December 6, 2022 [14 favorites]

One lesson I've learned since I've become management - most managers are terrified of looking like they have no ideas and aren't doing anything.

Re-orgs/team re-alignments are perfect for that sort of culture because "well, everyone's new at the job so it'll take time to see progress"
posted by drewbage1847 at 2:55 PM on December 6, 2022 [10 favorites]

Not a defense of the big consulting firms but human-centered design is a real thing and something the federal government could definitely use more of! Probably wouldn't hire one of these firms to do it.
posted by lunasol at 3:02 PM on December 6, 2022 [16 favorites]

It’s no defense of management to say that they "embrace, extend, extinguish" stuff that could have done us good.
posted by clew at 4:00 PM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Not a defense of the big consulting firms but human-centered design is a real thing

Agreed, and while McKinsey is absolutely the best at weaponizing management theories into justifications for behaviors that enable the C-suite to pretend they're making transformative bold moves that justify their role and make them feel powerful.. that doesn't mean that the management theories are the problem.

But big consultancy-mediated overhauls are cheaper*, if you can believe it, than paying people what they're worth, investing in internal mobility and a long term compensation strategy that rewards teamwork as well as innovation but is sustainable and able to figure out a new way to stay afloat even when the environment changes. Because all those things actually threaten capital in the end by giving the people who form the firm a stake within a mere two or three orders of magnitude as great as the ones who are paid to prevent labor from getting too powerful to control while guessing correctly more often than not .

Within that system, it certainly helps to have an understanding of your customer that can evolve at they do. It helps to identify communication issues and train people to expect better and maybe even be rewarded for reducing chaos rather than only for landing the deliverable at all costs (including human). If you're stuck transcribing manuscripts, it doesn't hurt to illuminate them even if you're centuries from a proper schism and reckoning. Expecting work to make you happy or fulfilled is misguided, but exercising what little power we have to many it not actively torture seems worthwhile, even if it requires doing things McKinsey would also suggest, just for different reasons.

* To the C-suite in terms of both money and more importantly power
posted by abulafa at 4:14 PM on December 6, 2022 [9 favorites]

CEOs are often (usually?) domineering fools who spend their lives being terrified of failure and no idea what do beyond randomly change plans and yell at people.

Management consultants make them feel like they’re actually competent, so of course they’re going to pay them a fortune.

I'm convinced that McKinsey and their ilk just make their bread off of the same idea as "Nobody gets fired for buying IBM."

It's been really discomfiting to see them slither into public-sector work, especially during the pandemic, and reap huge contracts for extremely unimpressive work. Like, folks on my team literally sat through presentations of 20-something McKinsey MBA infants sticking their logo on our work and mispronouncing basic field words to folks at City Hall or the Commissioner's Office.

How many millions went to them, for them to have no impact except to insulate leaders from interrogation of their decisions? But whoever is responsible for the contracts can shrug and say, "Hey, but it's McKinsey!"
posted by entropone at 4:39 PM on December 6, 2022 [13 favorites]

Interestingly, despite anecdotes noted above, they seem to have been a big help for the CCP
posted by some loser at 4:45 PM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

ChatGPT should move into this market. Who'd know the difference?

Any industry or organization has at least a few competent people who actually know how to think, even if they push awful ideologies, but they also have hoards of other people. Ain't surprised the CCP got hotshots, while folks commenting here saw others.

I think academia winds up with the absolute dregs, which influences views by faculty, including say David Graeber.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:24 PM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

So... I cannot comment in this thread in almost any way other than to say I cannot comment in this thread in any way. I can also say I do not work for either McK or BCG. Lastly, I know a fair number of folks who work for those firms or used to work for those firms and none of them are members of the illuminati or inherently evil - in fact, they are genuinely some of the brightest, and most thoughtful people I've had the pleasure to work with.

In this thread, are we collectivdly taking the piss out of management consulting in a joking fashion a la, another lawyer on the bottom of the ocean is a punchline? Or are folks more taking the slur route and are we eyeing rhetoric used most recently by some famous person that refers to himself in Olde English as justification and or replacement to really hear the very interesting hate in our voices? Alternatively, are these jobs that folks don't really understand, much the same way as there are folks not understanding Covid researchers and doing their own meth-lab style research in Appalachia? Last easy thought, there may also be folks that recognize that somebody has to play the bad guy in layoffs and not recognize that MC firms help establish a line, but really just provide the breathing room for industry to reconcile a decision they already made but do so in a way that assigns value to the future and makes sure that the business maintains their high priority staffing instead of just randomly blowing up a 43billion dollar court ordered purchase because they don't actually take the time to understand the actual product that they own? I'm just curious what archetype of hate we're doing in this thread...
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:35 PM on December 6, 2022 [5 favorites]

but do so in a way that assigns value to the future
So about that "assigning value to the future," here's some fun thoughts about its role in capitalism, tl; dr , it's nonsense.
This act of giving property a number, political economists Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler observe, is the central ritual of capitalism. It is the ritual of capitalization … and it comes with a problem.

Because ‘capitalization’ is literally just slapping numbers onto property, any number is as good as the next one. My property can be a 23. It could also be a 1023. In other words, property can have any conceivable price. But which price is ‘correct’? Ever since our apocryphal capitalist put a number on his property, capitalists have agonized over this question. ‘What is the true value of my property?’

Like so many human-created enigmas, the scientific answer is that the question has no meaning. Determining the ‘true’ value of property is like discovering the ‘true’ nature of the Holy Trinity. It cannot be done because there is no objective ‘truth’ to uncover — there are only subjective human beliefs. The ‘true nature’ of the Holy Trinity is whatever church clergy define it to be. The same holds for capitalization. The ‘true value’ of property is whatever capitalists define it to be.

This arbitrariness is why capitalists need a ritual. . . (snip)

Because it reflects an ideology, the capitalization formula is delightfully circular. It defines one monetary sum in terms of another. Nothing in science says that the equation should hold. It holds only because we’ve convinced ourselves that it should.

The Ritual of Capitalization
posted by wuwei at 6:14 PM on December 6, 2022 [13 favorites]

Now that my job title is Senior Vice President I sometimes read McKinsey newsletters and reports. I'm always surprised by how, well, shallow they are. Maybe the internal reports that clients get in return for their $$$ are much more substantial -- I hope they are -- but I've not been overly impressed by what I've seen so far.
posted by wintermind at 6:14 PM on December 6, 2022

I'm just curious what archetype of hate we're doing in this thread...

Oh, that's easy: we're hating the archetype of providing nothing of value, receiving things of great value in return, being acclaimed for having done so, while very little in the underlying conditions changes in any noticeable way, and those things which do change do so in a fashion which is net-negative for everyone except the MC.

It's like a very expensive version of the old-school "best lottery numbers" newsletter, except the letterhead is customized to the recipient, and there's a careful boilerplate warning about how nothing is worth anything, all value is equivocal, and if you lose money well maybe that's just the way the universe works sometimes, oops, maybe hire us again to get it all sorted, we promise (note: we definitely do not promise).

Phrased differently, it's paying a shitload of money for some confident Partner (usually male, and white, unless there's a photogenic woman/minority handy) to issue bromides. Remember Monitor Group? Yeah, aside from trying the launder the reputation of literal dictators who murdered people in horrible ways, what did they do of value? Remember who bought them? Hmmm.... Tax strategies, reputation strategies for killers, it's all the same, innit?
posted by aramaic at 6:28 PM on December 6, 2022 [15 favorites]

Aside from the CCP example, all positive anecdotes I know about external management helper types come from unique individuals in private practice, not affiliated with McKinsey and Boston Consulting.

At work, we brought in an external guy who our other senior researcher described as a "management therapist". We both did sessions with him, as did other department's management. I felt he helped in the friendly ear sort of way, but we all wound up feeling like we'd gained most of what we'd likely gain, and then stopped our sessions.

I'd absolutely recommend this guy for a small or midsize organization which must convince a bunch of crazy early hire types to actually manage later hires, but regular psychologists maybe work just as well, or maybe better if they track the organizational psychology literature.

I've attended several larger Tor project meetings, back when they still held open meetings. An incredible guy ran those sessions, which really helped build a sense of community.

I've only familiar with Thoughtworks pro-bono work, but maybe they provide a better software consultancy example.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:40 PM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

> One lesson I've learned since I've become management - most managers are terrified of looking like they have no ideas and aren't doing anything.

Having no ideas and doing nothing seems like the ideal most of the managers in my organization aspire to. If you have ideas and do something that might lead to having to make a decision, and that’s not how you get ahead in this game.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:48 PM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

My experience of consultancies in Australia is that they are brought in to justify what senior management wants to do anyway.

They are given the desired result, propose a program or work to get to that result, and then do the work to provide the plausible deniability to senior management.

And then the "restructuring" begins...
posted by awfurby at 6:56 PM on December 6, 2022 [9 favorites]

I sit here wondering what exactly is the difference between management theories and maybe astrology? Or the revealed truths mumbled by some guru in a hotel ballroom during a $300 weekend of enlightenment?

Five or more zeroes on the invoice.

I'm just curious what archetype of hate we're doing in this thread...

I'm doing the one based on strenuous objection to massively expensive incompetence.

On reflection, that's a little unfair. McKinsey and Boston have competence; they're super good at fucking over ordinary people for a massive fee.

I have never once seen a management consultant affect an organization in any way positively. I have many times seen management consultants swan in, get paid a six or seven figure sum to spew platitudes, break shit, leave behind a glossy report with stock photos of shiny happy people on the cover and nothing of value inside, then leave before the flames have fully engulfed the ensuing wreckage.

Expecting work to make you happy or fulfilled is misguided

Demanding that it do so is enlightened.

When McKinsey & Co. comes to town on Late Night Live
posted by flabdablet at 7:23 PM on December 6, 2022 [16 favorites]

I interviewed for a Data Science role at McKinsey and came away extremely unimpressed with their technical knowledge. I routinely had to dumb things down. I also looked at some of the geopolitical analysis coming out of their “think tank” and is laughably stupid. Anyway I would have taken the job because the money is really good but if you’re really smart you go to Google not McKinsey.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:11 PM on December 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

Same observation about their technical knowledge and my perspective is observing them muscling into development space with various governments.
posted by cendawanita at 9:23 PM on December 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have never once seen a management consultant affect an organization in any way positively. I have many times seen management consultants swan in, get paid a six or seven figure sum to spew platitudes, break shit, leave behind a glossy report with stock photos of shiny happy people on the cover and nothing of value inside, then leave before the flames have fully engulfed the ensuing wreckage.

Yes this perfectly describes my experience with the Ex Boston guy at my company except he didn’t even leave a glossy report. After decimating my team, destroying what I had built over a decade in just under a year I had to take my services elsewhere. But the CEO got reassurance that my team had lower margins so it didn’t matter
posted by CostcoCultist at 10:02 PM on December 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

From The Atlantic a couple of years ago:
How McKinsey Destroyed the Middle Class

Technocratic management, no matter how brilliant, cannot unwind structural inequalities.
posted by rochrobbb at 3:44 AM on December 7, 2022 [10 favorites]

In China, McKinsey has no problem working with state-owned companies that have done all manner of unpleasant things, as well as doing things like having a retreat just down the road from a concentration camp.
posted by rockindata at 4:00 AM on December 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've worked in management-consulting-adjacent functions and honestly awfurby has it right - consultants are who the CEO hires to recommend stuff they want to do anyway, so that they can wave a graphics-stuffed report with a shiny cover in the direction of shareholders / supervisory board / stakeholders. It's the rare case where the consultants actually have skills the entity's full time employees don't have, and even that is mostly data analysis and synthesis. It's frustrating from the consultancy side too, because your managers and partners promise the client the stars from the sky, and then it's your job to carefully wrap silver foil around regurgitated numbers and back-of-the-envelope calculations plus nonsense interpretation written between 10PM and 6AM exclusively. Those firms hook in promising young things by reputation and churn them out within 2-5 years depending on how intensive the work is, picking out the ones with the most bullshitting ability to promote to managers and partners. The lack of added value in your own work can be supremely frustrating, from that side.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 4:02 AM on December 7, 2022 [7 favorites]

My brother works for a large university that hired a large consulting firm which was paid $125,000 a week for several months to oversee the creation of a new department. By all accounts it has been a miserable failure and they are now thinking about reverting back to the way they used to do things before this department was created. Ultimately my brother's conclusion was that the consultants were hired simply so that if it didn't work, the chancellor and other higher ups in the administration could point their fingers at them in blame, preserving their very comfortable sinecures.
posted by drstrangelove at 6:09 AM on December 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

The library I work for recently hired a "cultural consulting" firm to...well, I don't even know what, really, because their representatives a) toured the building once, spending 15-20 minutes on each floor, b) didn't communicate or engage with any non-management employees in any meaningful way, and c) sent a guy to interview random members of the public who wandered into our department a couple of times, and that was about it. Their final report or whatever hasn't been issued yet, but I expect that most if not all of their recommendations will focus on cost-cutting measures and "efficiencies," because exercises of this nature are usually just cover for ways to save the city money.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:09 AM on December 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I actually think that management consulting firms occasionally bring value, especially in struggling industries/companies because from inside, any change is negative, and doing things the same way but maybe faster or more efficient is the best anyone internal can come up with. So someone outside has to come in to get everyone to engage with reality.

But the majority of the time, it's like the one they created for my city neighborhood, which includes verbatim in the Goals section "accomplish the many goals identified", which the report doesn't actually identify any specific goals nor identify ways to accomplish them. That's a barely re-written Simpsons joke.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:51 AM on December 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

A few years ago I was listening to a (CD) book and the author was talking about MBA grads, which I think is about the same folks, and he said something like:
Everyone knows MBA grads make terrible bosses from the viewpoint of the employees, but it turns out they're also bad for the business owners, in terms of profit/loss.
Don't remember what book.
posted by MtDewd at 8:33 AM on December 7, 2022

The one situation where a consultant is useful is to be a "sin eater." When everyone knows that a change is needed, and it's pretty obvious that only social barriers stop it, then you can bring in the consultant to ask the questions, collect the answers, and synthesize it into the very advice you wanted to hear in the first place.

Because they are "disinterested outsiders," no one loses face they way they would if one group was perceived to get their way, even when the answer was obvious to everyone from the start.

(We were discussing this very thing the other day: a consultant helped us set up an important process a dozen-odd years ago, and maybe it's time we get one in again to overhaul the process.)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2022 [8 favorites]

The US Government does have Human Centered Design expertise with a good track record.
posted by idb at 10:28 AM on December 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I studied and worked in process consulting before I got the opportunity to help launch a local branch of a national start up. We would have been crazy effective if only (a) our staff did what we asked them to do instead of doing as little as possible, and (b) our leadership provided us the supplies and staff they said we needed. It was an interesting experience, to say the least.

Organizations that have executive disfunction need help staying focused, setting goals, and following through. My recent adhd diagnosis prompted a lot of studying, and I've gotten as much from "managing to change the world" as I have from Pure adhd literature. I think trying to help a business with executive disfunction as if it "had adhd" would make for a great article.
posted by rebent at 11:04 AM on December 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

I’m a technical product manager in a small group in a small federal agency. We engaged 18F as consultants multiple times to great effect. I think there are a number of reasons for this:

- Critically, 18F’s goal is NOT long term engagements. They want to come in, build capacity, and leave to go to the next place.

- Our first couple engagements were for path analyses, where they worked closely with us to teach us how to do user-centered design, experimentation, and iteration. They also helped us put together a staffing strategy. Now we do our own path analyses, hurrah!

- The second major engagement was to teach us how to do a novel-to-our-agency agile contracting process. This was again a learning experience, and it was absolutely essential that their contracting officers and our contracting officers were about to talk, having conversations that amounted to “this process is completely legal, it is just a different part of the 5,000 page Federal Aquisition Regulations than you are familiar with, here is a brief from an OMB lawyer that confirms it.” The resulting contract has been great. They also helped us lay out a long-term staffing plan to support the contract work, and we have been taking action on that as well.
posted by rockindata at 5:22 PM on December 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

Basically they bring hard-win knowledge to agencies that need it, with a goal of effecting long term change. As far as I can tell, this is all the complete opposite of what McKinsey arc try to do.
posted by rockindata at 5:24 PM on December 7, 2022 [5 favorites]

I guess it's about the specific engagement. Personally, as a junior executive in tech who's been around the biz for 25 years and works in a huge company, I have a very dim view of the big consulting agencies. I think of them as the scabs of the corporate world. Apologies to anyone who works for these big firms. I get it; the money's good and you get in and get out with none of your blood spilled. Here's how I see it: companies should hire consultants to do things that aren't core competencies of their business. Like tech services for a non-tech firm, for example. But management consulting often sends the message, "We've told you you're the best and brightest, and we have hired you and our other people because we believe in you and your potential. Actually wait: you're idiots. Maybe some 27-year-old Ivy League MBA in a suit somehow knows our business better than you." Most of my encounters have been one of these:

- We're doing a merger and we need someone else to figure out how to do it. In a way, this makes sense, because you need to spend a ton of time doing all the extra work of merging and everyone's already busy. However, I've been through some very large mergers, and in general whoever's left has to cover for all the mistakes and omissions the consultants made. Also, they know nothing about the business; but they sure know how to ask 1000 questions about the tiniest details of every product and role and write reports that are totally useless.

- We have been running teams at 120% for years, and we don't know how to solicit expertise from our own people. Therefore let's ask these consultants to come in, observe people they don't know doing work they don't understand from a corner cube, then write a report. My favorite was working in a Microsoft (VB/C++) shop that had started to transition to C#/.NET when it came out. Lots of training, POCs, progress, etc. The consultants came in with a bunch of Java programmers and decided we needed to switch to Java, partly because the new CTO was a Java guy. They spent so long recommending and planning and bullshitting that a few of us locked ourselves in a room for 2 weeks and wrote something better. I eventually got the axe for openly arguing with execs and the consultants. About five years later I met up with some buddies from there and they said "By the way, you were right. The Java stuff crashed and burned and they went back to .NET".

Companies expect you to identify with them, give up other things for them, and plan for careers and building some amazing future where everyone wins. But as stated above, asking your own management team or line employees what *they* recommend gives them too much power. Typically, it's more people to do the work that no one has time to do properly because of prior cuts, and trying some ideas that the employees have been asking to do for years (don't get me started on f***ing hackathons and Idea Exchanges and Innovation Days that never go anywhere). Consulting engagements are a great way to avoid admitting you have no idea how to run your own company. It's like hiring someone to tell your spouse you don't like the food they make, write a bunch of long-ass reports about all the better food they should make you, and then leave without having to ever make the food themselves or deal with picky eaters or compressed schedules or any of that.

So basically, you get to make big money to be the corporate equivalent of Elon Musk opining about how he'd get those kids out of the cave. And yeah ... I'm a corporate stooge myself, so I don't expect any love either. I'm not a social worker or teacher or any of the REAL "real jobs". But dealing with consultants just blows.
posted by caviar2d2 at 7:13 PM on December 7, 2022 [8 favorites]

This century's "economic hit men" ... South Africa isn't the only "developing world" country they've destroyed
posted by infini at 10:03 AM on December 9, 2022

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