“For the past decade, she has waged a sometimes lonely battle to rehabilitate the state’s reputation as an economic motor. Her new book, The Big Con, written with Rosie Collington, argues that consultancies are hobbling governments’ ability to perform that role. In her office, holding a Diet Coke, she says: “For me, the big wake-up call was Brexit [preparations], because [the consultants] were everywhere.” In 2019-20, the British government spent nearly £1bn on strategy and other consultants — to the despair of some MPs. Mazzucato and Collington also widen their critique to include the Big Four accounting firms, such as Deloitte, and outsourcing companies, which carry out chunks of the state’s core functions.”


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