'An enthralling cautionary tale of the recurring excesses of global finance ... The author displays a vivid touch in describing the Swedish parvenu's successful efforts to infiltrate the upper echelons of US finance.'Francesco Guerrera,Financial Times
The story opens with the purchase of a 9mm Browning at a small Paris gun shop by a man named Ivar Kreuger. The next morning, the world's leading bankers nervously waited to ask Ivar about some forged Italian bonds. Hours later, his dead body was discovered and the largest financial empire of the era collapsed.This book traces Ivar's meteoric rise from the obscurity of provincial Sweden, to become a construction mogul and then a global business oligarch. Ivar acquired match monopolies throughout the world and usurped J. P. Morgan to become the leading lender to foreign governments. His financial innovations resonate today. A self made media figure, he discovered and promoted Greta Garbo but also advised politicians, including President Hoover.Was he a financial genius or merely a schemer? Did he really stage his own suicide? This book brings back to life one of the greatest swindlers of all times.
Frank Partnoy is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance at the University of San Diego School of Law. His books includeF.I.A.S.C.O., Infectious Greed, and The Match King.His next book,Wait, will examine snap decision making. Professor Partnoy writes regularly forThe New York Timesand theFinancial Times, and has appeared on numerous media programs, including60 Minutes,The NewsHour, andThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has degrees in mathematics and economics from The University of Kansas, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
'Provides a fascinating insight into how high society falls prey to such colourful characters. Kreuger's story is uncannily relevant today.', Economist
'Partnoy makes the world of international capitalism not just easy to understand but fascinating.', Metro
'Partnoy's persuasive analysis and entertaining narrative is very pertinent to the present culture of high finance and low morality', The Times
'A topical read', Julian Fleming, Sunday Business Post