MIB: Duff McDonald on HBS & McKinsey


This week, we speak with Duff McDonald, is a journalist and author of several critically acclaimed books, including The Golden Passport about issues with Harvard Business School, and The Firm about the influential (and havoc wreaking) McKinsey & Co.

McDonald performs heavy lifting into the key institutions that feed senior people into the worlds of finance, business and government. A cover story for New York Magazine about JP Morgan purchase of Bear Stearns (“How Jamie Dimon resisted the quick and dirty temptations of Wall Street and put himself in perfect position for the deal, or maybe steal, of the century”) led to his first book was Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase.

McDonald writes about Harvard Business School: It has not only “proven an enormous failure,” but its very success has made it positively “dangerous.”

All of the books McDonalds references can be found here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast, and Bloomberg. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Ed Thorp, the math professor who Beat the Dealer, Beat the Market, became the first true quant hedge fund manager, and is a Man for All Seasons.




Books written by Duff McDonald

The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald

The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business by Duff McDonald

Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase by Duff McDonald



Duff McDonald’s favorite books


Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett

Angels and Ages: Lincoln, Darwin, and the Birth of the Modern Age by Adam Gopnik

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife

Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1) by Neal Stephenson

The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2) by Neal Stephenson

The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 3) by Neal Stephenson

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