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The Match King Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals (Paperback)

Author:  Frank Partnoy
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The Match King Partnoy, Frank 1 of 1
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Learn more about The Match King:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 1586488120
ISBN-13: 9781586488123
Sku: 211540860
Publish Date: 3/1/2010
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.25H x 5.5L x 0.75T
Pages:  272
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Partnoy writes an all-too prescient parable of how unregulated markets, greed, and unchecked ambition can wreak havoc on an economic system.
From the Publisher:
At the height of the roaring ’20s, Swedish émigré Ivar Kreuger made a fortune raising money in America and loaning it to Europe in exchange for matchstick monopolies. His enterprise was a rare success story throughout the Great Depression. Yet after his suicide in 1932, it became clear that Kreuger was not all he seemed: evidence surfaced of fudged accounting figures, off-balance-sheet accounting, even forgery. He created a raft of innovative financial products— many of them precursors to instruments wreaking havoc in today’s markets. In this gripping financial biography, Frank Partnoy recasts the life story of a remarkable yet forgotten genius in ways that force us to re-think our ideas about the wisdom of crowds, the invisible hand, and the free and unfettered market.
Frank Partnoy's riveting depiction of how one man, Ivar Krueger, used a labyrinthine Ponzi scheme to single-handedly devour millions of dollars in the 1920s radiates with both historical and contemporary significance. Krueger is now known as "The Match King," because his devious business method of "borrowing" money from Americans and lending it to foreign governments enabled him to secure monopolies on the manufacture of matchsticks in many nations around the world. Partnoy's reports shows how, long before the Internet or electronic banking, Kruegar was able to use a network of false business fronts and a system of repetitive wire transfers to shuffle the money around until only he knew its location. When Kruegar committed suicide in 1932, it was revealed that the huge sums of money which he had smoothly coerced people to invest with him were gone, leading to a global financial panic and the adoption of new securities laws.


"As Frank Partnoy explains in his riveting biography, THE MATCH KING, the fact that no one remembers Kreuger in 2009 would have seemed more fantastical to people in the 1930s than being told we'd invented flying cars and time machines. Kreuger was Warren Buffett with the panache of Sir Richard Branson, the British playboy billionaire." - Sam Kean 04/27/2009

"Frank Partnoy tells the story of Krueger's rise and fall with great pace....Anyone seeking insights into the...cases of Bernard Madoff or Allen Stanford will find echoes [his] fascinating account of the 'Match King.' " - Christopher Godden 07/03/2009

"[Partnoy] has a historian's assiduous dedication to telling the truth in all its uncomfortable complexity. On the other hand, he is more interested in telling a rip-roaring yarn of derring-do in the wild west of 1920s high finance." - Felix Salmon 08/16/2009

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0272
Product attributePublisher:   PublicAffairs
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