Ivar Krugar: The Match King

May 12th, 2009 - 5:38 pm ICT by GD  

In 1920s Ivar Kreuger was the savior of Europe, however, a decade later, in 1932 a month after his death he was revealed has the greatest swindler of all times. A biography by Frank Partnoy, titled “The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals” tells and absorbing tale and also gives a reminder to the reader that “every boom has its share of scoundrels.”

Ivar Kreuger a Swede by birth, was an brilliant industrialist and a better mastermind. Kruger was a charming but a secretive man, during the American boom of the 1920s, he “Machiavellically” tapped in the resources of the American investors and by and by created a kind of a pyramid scheme. And by the end of the decade of 1920 he was right up there among the world’s most powerful and the wealthiest men. However, fame, power and fortune did not last for very long; all of it came crashing down so hard that he had to commit suicide.

Kreuger began his assault on America from the year 1923, at that time he was in his early 40s. Then his business portfolio boosted of only a Swedish construction company which he had co-founded, but more importantly, by then he had been able to built match monopoly with the Swedish Match. The real ambition of Kreuger was to become a financier on a global scale and the times then was highlighted by European countries that were struggling and were literally beholden to such global financiers.

The author Partnoy sums up Kreuger’s life and his escapades with the following words, “He was a builder as well as a destroyer.”

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