Summary of The Match King

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The Match King book summary


9 Overall

8 Importance

9 Innovation

9 Style


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

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.



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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