Summary of The Match King

Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals

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The Match King book summary
Until Bernie Madoff came along, Ivar Kreuger was Wall Street’s greatest fraudster. Ivar who?


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Readers who love fascinating stories with unforgettable characters will thank professor and market expert Frank Partnoy for his book on 1920s business icon Ivar Kreuger. This remarkable figure was a global financier, Greta Garbo’s close companion, and an adviser to prime ministers, kings and a U.S. president. Though he was one of the world’s greatest con men, he has somehow slipped, all but forgotten, from popular history. Partnoy resurrects Kreuger in all his tragic glory: a successful, well-known entrepreneur whose abrupt fall from grace and apparent suicide – by a bullet through the heart – coincided with the Great Depression. Kreuger’s financial chicanery led to comprehensive U.S. securities reform in the early 1930s. getAbstract considers this business biography a rollicking good tale. It holds particular lessons for those looking to make sense of recent financial history: how a brilliant businessman made some innovative – and eerily familiar – promises to greedy, willfully ignorant investors.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How wealthy European Ivar Kreuger built a global business empire based on matches
  • How he fooled investors while devising innovative financial structures
  • Why his fall led to the enactment of major U.S. securities legislation


Across the Ocean to Get Money
In 1922, Ivar Kreuger traveled on the German cruise ship Berengaria from Southampton to New York City – the destination for entrepreneurs seeking money. In the Roaring ’20s, everyone wanted to get rich on the next big deal. A hugely successful Swedish...
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About the Author

Frank Partnoy, former investment banker and corporate lawyer, wrote F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street. He is a professor at the University of San Diego.

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