The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals

The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals

by Frank Partnoy

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Overview

The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals by Frank Partnoy

At the Height of the Roaring twenties, Ivar Kreuger was one of the richest men in the world. Through an ingenious plan to sell stakes in foreign matchstick monopolies to American investors flush with cash, he built up a tremendous enterprise, paying impressive dividends to his investors. His company, International Match, was one of the few to survive the Crash of 1929 unscathed.

But shortly after Kreuger's death in 1932, it became clear that the great financier was not all he had seemed. Driven by success to adopt ever-more perilous practices, Kreuger had turned to shell companies, tax havens, off-balance sheet accounting, fudged income statements, even forgery. He created a raft of innovative financial products-many of them precursors to instruments wreaking havoc in today's markets. The "Kreuger crash" that followed bankrupted millions.

In this critically acclaimed biography, Frank Partnoy charts the unlikely rise and fall of this forgotten genius. Through the arc of Kreuger's life, Partnoy casts new light on our ideas about the wisdom of crowds, the invisible hand, and the free and unfettered market.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586488123
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 03/09/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 264,371
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Frank Partnoy is the author of F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street and Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Greed Corrupted the Financial Markets. A graduate of Yale Law School, he is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance at the University of San Diego.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Coming to America 1

2 Getting to Lee Higg 15

3 The Speech 29

4 Trouble at Home 46

5 The Green Eye Shade 59

6 Poland First 70

7 Le Boom 91

8 The Match Palace 112

9 A Weekend in Germany 135

10 One Last Chance 156

11 Coming Back to America 179

12 Death in the Air 193

13 Greatness? 201

14 Coda 218

A Note on Sources and Acknowledgements 227

Bibliography 230

Notes 236

Index 263

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