The Match King

The Match King : Ivar Kreuger and the Financial Scandal of the Century

By (author) Frank Partnoy


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The story opens with the purchase of a 9mm Browning at a small Paris gun shop by a man named Ivar Kreuger. The next morning, the world's leading bankers nervously waited to ask Ivar about some forged Italian bonds. Hours later, his dead body was discovered and the largest financial empire of the era collapsed. This book traces Ivar's meteoric rise from the obscurity of provincial Sweden, to become a construction mogul and then a global business oligarch. Ivar acquired match monopolies throughout the world and usurped J. P. Morgan to become the leading lender to foreign governments. His financial innovations resonate today. A self made media figure, he discovered and promoted Greta Garbo but also advised politicians, including President Hoover. Was he a financial genius or merely a schemer? Did he really stage his own suicide? This book brings back to life one of the greatest swindlers of all times.

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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 22mm | 281.23g
  • 11 Mar 2010
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 186197938X
  • 9781861979384
  • 396,082

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Author Information

Frank Partnoy is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance at the University of San Diego School of Law. His books include F.I.A.S.C.O., Infectious Greed, and The Match King. His next book, Wait, will examine snap decision making. Professor Partnoy writes regularly for The New York Times and the Financial Times, and has appeared on numerous media programs, including 60 Minutes, The NewsHour, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has degrees in mathematics and economics from The University of Kansas, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

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Review quote

George A. Needham, Founder and Chairman of Needham & Company "The tale of Ivar Krueger, vividly brought to life by Frank Partnoy, is a reminder that Wall Street has not changed much since the late 1920's. The players change, but the animal spirits remain the same. Anyone interested in today's financial crisis will be captivated by this story." "Time," January 13, 2009 "Frank Partnoy has an exceptionally well-timed book on Ivar Kreuger coming out." Robert A. G. Monks, author of "Corpocracy" and "The New Global Investors"""The Match King" is a skillfully told tale of the romance and the corruption involved in attempting to be on top of the world. How did Krueger enlisted the loyalty of the people essential to him? Yes, some he bought, but most -- he beguiled."

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