Kreuger, Ivar

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Kreuger, Ivar

Ivar Kreuger (ē´vär krōō´gər), 1880–1932, Swedish financier. After studying engineering in Stockholm and engaging in construction enterprises in the United States, he returned to Sweden and organized the firm of Kreuger and Toll. In 1913 he began to form a trust to control all aspects of the production of matches in Sweden, and later throughout the world; it eventually became a huge international finance agency, and he also controlled construction, mining, and communications companies. Speculation and questionable practices during the 1920s led to the ruin of the trust after the 1929 crash, but through fraud he managed largely to hide the distressed state of his businesses until his suicide. Much of his money was obtained from U.S. backers.

See studies by A. Churchill (1957), R. Shaplen (1960), and F. Partnoy (2009).

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