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Starred Review. Partnoy (F.I.A.S.C.O.) delivers a thrilling account of the grandfather of all Ponzi and Madoff schemes—Ivar Kreuger (1880–1932), who made his fortune in the 1920s by raising money from American investors to lend to European governments in exchange for match monopolies. Kreuger was creating more than matches, it turned out; the master of investor psychology created the forerunners of today's derivatives and techniques that are still used by hedge funds and investment banks. Shortly after his suicide in 1932, his schemes finally unraveled. The Kreuger crash bankrupted millions and led to the securities laws of 1933 and 1934—a political reaction to a single event and to one man. Partnoy achieves a nuanced portrait of the charismatic and corrupt financial genius whose advice was sought by Herbert Hoover and other heads of state. A fascinating depiction of a man and his era (Greta Garbo makes memorable cameos), this book is a snapshot of a time all too familiar now: a speculative real estate bubble, unbridled consumer spending, investors buying derivatives based on sketchy information and a Wall Street operating by its own rules. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ivar Kreuger, the “best-liked crook that ever lived,” was a Swede who operated on Wall Street during the 1920s, and his apparent suicide in 1932 coincided with the collapse of his businesses, bankrupting millions of investors. Partnoy, author and academic, conducted extensive research on Kreuger, who was considered the greatest business mind of his time. He cornered global markets in safety matches by raising money in the U.S. and loaning it to European governments in return for monopoly control of production and sales; he devised and sold complicated financial products and with questionable accounting methods structured a long list of murky deals. Partnoy explains that Kreuger, while a crook, was an attractive one who created substantial wealth, revived much of post–World War I Europe, and generated real profits for investors before his empire collapsed. With the current arrest of Wall Street’s Bernard Madoff for stealing more than $60 billion from investors, we are reminded that history repeats itself. This is a timely and excellent book. --Mary Whaley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Since reading his name mentioned in Galbraith book, I wanna know more about Kruger, then this book turned out to be a perfect fit. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kim
A fascinating read about Ivar Kreuger and his financial dealings and companies. In the wake of the financial crisis the world is currently facing, Partnoy's book seems all the... Read morePublished on June 17, 2013 by A&P
An absolutely amazing story - masterfully researched and written!
I cannot figure out why Ivar Kreuger is not a household name.
Frank Partnoy is a Professor of Law and Finance and he is an expert in complex financial structures and regulation. Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by investingbythebooks
Perhaps the best aspect of this book is that it is short. Partnoy has resisted the temptation to which other business writers and many biographers have succumbed, to feel the need... Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by Duffman
This book follows the rise & fall of Ivar Kreuger. It's fascinating reading, with much of the content ripped off of recent headlines (Bernie Madoff, Enron, etc.). Read morePublished on February 20, 2013 by DJH in LA
This is a great book on arguably the greatest scammer to ever existed. Forget Ponzi, Madoff or the tulip bubble. Read morePublished on August 3, 2012 by Richard Dassei