[A-List] US corporate state: management consultants
Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Fri Jul 26 05:02:51 MDT 2002
Apart from a long piece by Michael Skapinker in the FT this week, the role of management consultancy firms in the unfolding crisis of capitalism has received little attention. Indeed, for all Blair and co's bemoaning of the lack of competition and transparency, the UK government continues to dole out major contracts to the "Big Four" accounting firms, with Blair even basing his credibility in parliamentary debate on a report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, that well known auditor of Gazprom. The accounting companies and others like them are part of a corporate state apparatus that is busy at work reallocating and liquidating assets in the advanced countries and cannot wait to get busy with the assets lying in less developed countries: hence Pascal Lamy's efforts to push the GATS agenda.
Meanwhile, while McKinsey deservedly took the rap for some of the most prominent corporate disasters of recent years (e.g. Swissair), another major consultancy firm has kept very quiet, at least until now, when, yet again, the appointments page of the Financial Times reveals that the hyperactive former director of the CIA has earned himself another lucrative posting. Yet more evidence of the rather shady boundaries between the "public" (i.e. state) and private sectors, especially in the field of "intelligence". Contrary to what the erudite classical liberals ensconced in ideological hegemony would have us all believe.
Former CIA director to advise on terrorist risks
By Jimmy Burns
Financial Times; Jul 23, 2002
James "Jim" Woolsey,a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been appointed vice-president of Booz Allen Hamilton, the US management and technology consulting company, to help corporations and government departments to reduce the risk of terrorist attack through improved public-private partnerships.
As a partner in Booze Allen's global strategic security division, Woolsey will offer advice on how to become more resilient in the face of what he decribes as the "greatest challenge the business world faces today".
His advisory role will cover strategy and technology. It will include protecting critical infrastructures, such as the oil and electricity industries, and other areas that have been identified as potential terrorist targets since September 11, such as maritime transport.
"Whereas it was once the case that only the nuclear industry was open to international interference, it is now clear there are dozens of other sectors that have to protect themselves," says Woolsey.
While having no doubt that the US and its allies face the daunting prospect of continuing terrorist incidents, Woolsey, 60, sees the main challenge as ensuring that they become "less catastrophic" for the government and business as a whole.
"We want to reduce the vulnerable equivalents in other sectors of the flimsy cockpit door," he says, alluding to the breaches in airline security that allowed September's air attacks on the US to be mounted.
Booz Allen has its headquarters in McLean, Virginia. Its clients include leading corporations and government departments closely involved in defence and intelligence-gathering. Its global network of consultants include experts in cyber-security and in emergency and wartime strategic and logistical planning.
Woolsey comes to Booze Allen from the Washington-based law firm Shea & Gardner, where he practised before and since his employment at the CIA.
In addition to serving the US government in various roles as a defence adviser, he was CIA director between 1993-95, under the first Clinton administration, where he oversaw the tentative post-cold-war co-operation with the former Soviet Union and the intelligence targeting of new threats such as drugs trafficking and arms proliferation involving rogue states.
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