Military Review

Twentieth Century Viking Ivar Kruger

Twentieth Century Viking Ivar Kruger

King of matches

Meet Ivar Kruger (Kroeger). Recipient of the following awards: Order of the Legion of Honour, Order of the Three Stars (the highest award of the Republic of Latvia), Order of the Crown of Romania, Order of the White Rose of Finland, Order of the Polar Star (Order of Civil Merit of Sweden), Order of the Vasa (Order of Civil Merit of Sweden). Honorary participant in the Nobel Prize ceremony. The founder of the world match company and financial empire, which was written about in all the newspapers of the world during the period between the two world wars.

Ivar Kröger was born on March 2, 1880 on the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea in the family of a local Russian consul. To some extent, he is ours, Russian. I will not describe Ivar’s childhood and youth, this is not relevant to the topic of my article.

I'll start history with the support of leading Swedish banks associated with the Wallenberg family group of companies, the Stenbeck group and Handelsbanken, he took control of his father's match business. Conned his drinking uncle into giving up his interests in the English matches market.

When the outbreak of World War I limited the supply of aspen and the chemicals used in the production of Swedish matches, Kröger found an opportunity to bypass Sweden's largest manufacturer AB Jonköping-Vulkan, forcing it into a reverse takeover.

Founded by Ivar in 1917, the Swedish Match Company (Swedish matches) included the Swedish companies AB Jonköping-Vulcan, AB Svenska Förenade Tändsticksfabriker and match companies in Norway (Bryn and Halden) and Finland (Wiborgs and Kekkola).

In 1926, Ivar Kruger, taking advantage of the fact that he concentrated in his hands control over suppliers of raw materials (straws, Bertholet salt, etc.), annexed the British match company Bryant and May to his empire and conquered not only the British market, but also the markets of British dominions - Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.

By the 1930s, he controlled almost 75% of the world match production market, as he owned more than 200 match factories in 35 countries.

His dominance in the match industry was unshakable, with some estimates placing him as the third richest man in the world at the time.

They will tell me: this is not surprising, because it was in Sweden that they improved the design, using safer red phosphorus instead of poisonous yellow phosphorus, which they applied to the striking surface of a matchbox. The Swedes called the product “safe matches.” In the world they were called “Swedish matches”.

The Swedes are outstanding engineers and excellent workers with a high production culture. All this is true, but this is not enough for success (and miracles) in the capitalist world.

And this economic miracle of Ivar Kruger, like the entire Swedish economic miracle, has three godparents. Why three? So the family is Swedish. These godparents are: World War I, the Russian Revolution and World War II.

For people and humanity, such godparents bring only death and hunger, but for the economy and business - prosperity and success, provided that the godparents live in neighboring countries.

Ivar also earned his very first capital during the war. During the Boer War, Ivar invests his savings in building a restaurant. The First World War created new states on the ruins of old ones, which were poor, their economies were destroyed, and corrupt rulers came to power there. The February bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia temporarily eliminated the main potential competitors in Europe for the production of matches.

The market will regulate everything itself

Unlike domestic Russian economists, Ivar, as a real businessman, understood that the motto “the market itself will regulate everything” is for losers and, to put it mildly, for those who do not understand anything about economics. Ivar applied a simple business scheme: loans in exchange for monopoly trade in matches, their production or supply of raw materials for manufacturing. Brilliant, you must agree.

Kruger's total loans to foreign countries in 1930 were estimated at US$387 million, corresponding to approximately $7,1–10,4 billion in 2013 currency.

And now the entire list of creditors and countries in which Ivar received a monopoly:

Poland I, 1925: $6 million and Poland II, 1930: $32,4 million;
Free State of Danzig, 1930: $1 million;
Greece I, 1926: £1 million and Greece II, 1931: £1 million;
Ecuador I, 1927: $2 million and Ecuador II, 1929: $1 million;
France, 1927: $75 million;
Югославия, 1928: $22 million;
Kingdom Hungary, 1928: $36 million;
Germany, 1929: $125 million;
Latvia, 1928: $6 million;
Romania, 1930: $30 million;
Lithuania, 1930: $6 million;
Bolivia, 1930: $2 million;
Estonia, 1928: SEK 7,6 million;
Guatemala, 1930; $2,5 million;
Turkey, 1930: $10 million.

One of the most famous monopolies was the Zundvaren or Zundvaren monopoly. The German Zündwaren monopoly (translated as the safety match monopoly) began in 1929, when the German Reichstag passed a bill called the Zündwarenmonopolgesetz (“Safety Match Monopoly Law”).

The Weimar Republic struggled to cope with the war reparations imposed on it by the Treaty of Versailles. Ivar mediated the German-French reparations negotiations and provided Germany with a loan of $125 million (500 million Reichsmarks at the time). And he acquired a monopoly on the territory of the Weimar Republic, the monopoly was in effect until January 15, 1983. After this, the price of safety matches in Germany fell by a third.

Retreat: East Germany (1949–1990) did not recognize the consequences of the Sündvaren monopoly and did not make any payments.

With a kind word and a revolver

The most profitable from the above list was the agreement with Poland.

Until 1925, the restoration and rise of the Polish match industry took place. At the first stage, Ivar buys shares in match factories, supplies equipment, issues loans, bringing more than 70% of the match production in Poland into the orbit of his interests. But everything changes in 1925, when the zloty exchange rate collapses, the young Polish state experiences severe financial difficulties.

And then Ivar appears. He offers a loan in exchange for a match monopoly, and in case of refusal, he announces his readiness to close the factories under his control, which guarantees that serious problems will arise. The Polish government agrees.

Prime Minister of Poland Wladislav Grabski, for a loan of $6 million at 7% per annum, declares a state monopoly on the production and sale of matches - Panstwowy Monopol Zapalczany.

Yugoslavia and Hungary provided the monopoly for $22 million and $36 million. France - for $75 million only the right to export and supply equipment and raw materials to factories.

For just $6 million, Ivar gets the market of Poland, the largest European country, at his disposal. True, Ivar undertakes obligations to invest $5 million in the match industry, buy out enterprises, compensate dismissed employees, provide raw materials, build a plant for the production of bertholium salt, increase exports, pay rent, etc., etc.

But, taking advantage of the insufficient legal elaboration of the agreement (the fine print, he probably also came up with), Poland gets the following results: by 1936, only 4 factories were operating (previously there were 10), during the years 1929-1938, the export of matches decreased tenfold, the only thing What increases is the cost of matches and the cutting down of aspen forests in Poland.

The largest volumes of deforestation of aspen forests in Poland will be achieved after Ivar receives the rights to a monopoly supply of match straws to France (aspen is the best raw material for the match industry because it is easily processed, absorbs chemical composition well, holds the match head, does not smoke and produces white flame color).

In 1930, Ivar extended the contract with the Polish government for another 10 years, for a new loan in the amount of $32,4 million at 6,5% per annum, part of the money ($4,35 million) was used to repay the first loan. In such hothouse conditions, business will bring unprecedented income.

Ivar understood this perfectly; in a letter to a friend in 1931, he wrote:

“The Swedish match,” he shared his secret, “has not felt any effect from the current crisis... Often unemployment causes an increase in match consumption because when people do not work, they smoke more cigarettes.”

Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others

In addition to creating a match empire, Ivar was a successful stock market player and inventor, the founder of many financial innovations. Imagine you own 99% of the shares of a company, and another shareholder owns 1% of the shares, but at the same time you have 1% of the votes, and the other has 99% of the votes when voting on decisions about the company's activities. No, this is not a scam, these are dual class shares, all shares have the same rights to dividends and profits, but B shares only have 1/1 votes compared to one vote each +
category A share.

Krueger's biographer, Frank Partnoy, called it "a brilliant example of financial engineering." Ivar fulfilled the activist investor's dream of controlling a company's destiny without owning it, by splitting A shares from B shares (a practice until recently used in Sweden). This allowed him, according to Chapplain's estimates, to control an empire worth $600 million with just 1% of the shares. In one form or another, this is still in effect.

Ivar also invented the concept of “leverage,” introduced convertible gold bonds, American certificates, binary currency options, and off-balance sheet organizations. All this is widely used today, even more: without it it is impossible to imagine the existence of the current financial market.

Contract with the devil for 25 years

On March 2, 1932, the Swedish “king of matches” Ivar Kruger committed suicide, this is the official version.

Newspapers wrote: “His death in Paris last Saturday at his own hand represents a truly tragic ruin of a career which in its field was unsurpassed by any man in living memory.”

Everyone was shocked, because Ivar’s business empire successfully survived the crisis of 1929–1930. The Saturday Evening Post called him “more than a financial titan,” and the English magazine Fortnightly, in an article written in December 1931 entitled “Chapter on Constructive Finance,” reported: “It’s like the financial irrigator that Kruger has become.” , will begin to play a vital role for Europe.”

And then a scandal broke out: the late Ivar was accused of all sins; from a respected businessman and financier, he became a fraudster and the creator of a giant financial pyramid. The Economist magazine called him "the world's greatest swindler."

And here, dear reader, I again take the skies of conspiracy theories, because there are many reasons for this.

The suicide letter is written in English, and it is addressed to his Swedish colleague Christer Litorin. Ivar was planning and preparing for serious negotiations, which were to take place on March 13 or 14 in Berlin.

Buying a pistol is also a very confusing story.

So who was Ivar interfering with?

Version one.

At an international conference in Santa Barbara in February 1932, Albert Einstein made a proposal that finally established his reputation as a madman. And who else can propose a plan for the disarmament of all states of the planet with the subsequent establishment of a supranational army of peacekeepers.

Surprisingly, Ivar supported this plan, he even achieved an audience with American President Hoover, at which he proposed a plan for creating a peaceful Europe, which had not yet recovered from the devastating consequences of the First World War. Ivar's plan to stabilize Europe consisted of only three points:

1) withdrawal of capital from the United States;
2) pan-European cooperation;
3) investments outside the military-industrial complex.

If we take into account the version that the United States was actively preparing Europe for World War II, then the appearance of Ivar with his proposals and ideas, and most importantly, opportunities, was extremely undesirable and required a speedy solution to this problem.

Also in Germany at that time there was a serious group of financiers who were not satisfied with Hitler’s rise to power, but there was a crisis in the country, they needed money to maintain a stable economic situation. They were all denied a loan, only Ivar agreed to negotiate a loan.

And this was not the first such case. Ivar received the Legion of Honor after he provided a five percent loan to France in the amount of $1927 million in 75, which it used to pay off a ruinous loan to John Pierpoint Morgan Jr.

Eliminating Ivar was in the interests of the United States.

Version two.

Ivar was the owner of such well-known campaigns as:

"LM Ericsson Telephone Joint Stock Company", commonly known as Ericsson;

Svenska Cellulosa AB (the largest wood and pulp production company). SCA was founded in November 1929 when Swedish investor Ivar Kruger brought together ten Swedish forestry companies. The companies employed a total of 6 people and owned forests, sawmills, pulp mills, machine shops, and power plants;

the famous SKF is a Swedish company producing bearings and seals. In 1930 the company had 12 factories with 21 employees, two thirds of which were located outside Sweden;

Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktibolag (LKAB) is a Swedish mining company. It mines iron ore in Kiruna and Malmberget in northern Sweden;

Boliden AB is a Swedish multinational metals, mining and smelting company headquartered in Stockholm. The company produces zinc, copper, lead, nickel, silver and gold;

Swedish Match AB is a Swedish multinational tobacco company headquartered in Stockholm.

Ivar's companies, according to some sources, provided from 20 to 50% of the supply of cellulose and iron ore. Small investors and ordinary shareholders lost their savings and investments, and a wave of suicides swept across Sweden. And banks associated with the Wallenberg family group of companies, the Stenbeck group and Handelsbanken, mentioned earlier, seized most of the industrial assets of Ivar's empire.

To understand who the Wallenbergs are, I will give one excerpt from the book by S. Shcheglov and M. Khazin “Stairway to Heaven. Dialogues about power, career and the world elite.”

“Practice. Well, that's theoretical. But in practice you can figure something out! Look, in 2003, US President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq. It was fundamentally important for him to obtain UN sanction, since otherwise he would become an aggressor (which he eventually became). But UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a black man from Ghana by birth (although a UN bureaucrat by biography), stood in his way.

And at some point, informed sources began to tell me that Bush had found an approach to Annan (who was protected by diplomatic immunity and therefore it was difficult to carry out a Strauss-Kahn-type story with him). US security forces opened a case against the son of Kofi Annan, who worked for the UN and was involved in the Oil for Food program. Kickbacks and bribes there were formalized almost in plain text, so there would be no problems with the arrests of the relevant performers, as one of such informed people told me about.

“Well,” he concluded in our conversation, “in order to save his son, Kofi Annan will do anything.”

“I’m not sure about that,” I replied.

- Why?

– Because Kofi Annan’s son, in addition to his father, also has a mother. Well, more precisely, the stepmother.
- So what?

– And the fact that I’m not sure that Bush has enough resources to arrest this stepmother’s relative!

– Who is she, this second wife of Kofi Annan?

– Who is our “informed person”? You or me?

- Well, okay, don’t be a fool, tell me her last name...

By the way, Theorist, do you know the name of Kofi Annan’s wife?

Theorist. No, but I'll look it up on the Internet now. Here you are, Nani Annan, in
maiden name Nani Lagergren. And what is this name famous for?

Practitioner. It is not this surname that is famous, but the surname of her uncle. Him, at least in ours
country, everyone knows. It was the famous Raoul Wallenberg.

Theorist. Oops! But for sure, Nani Lagergren is the daughter of Nina Lagergren, the sister of
Wallenberg himself!

Practitioner. That's it! And I explained to a “knowledgeable person” that what Stalin could afford in 1945 (the arrest of Raoul Wallenberg), Bush would not be able to afford in 2003. The Wallenbergs (as a family) are not only the richest family in Sweden (and at the same time Jewish by origin), but also definitely belong to the world elite (like the Rothschilds and Rockefellers). Therefore, the powers of the US President are not enough to arrest a member of the Wallenberg family! And what is the result? Nothing worked out for Bush, the Koji Annan affair died out, and Bush (and his partner Tony Blair) had to attack Iraq without UN authorization, become the aggressors and bear all the costs of it. They couldn’t do anything with Kofi Annan!”

It was the Wallenbergs who were commissioned by the King of Sweden to investigate the activities of Ivar's companies, and it was their newspapers that acted as the main exposers of Ivar's activities in Sweden. The Swedish Match Company quickly recovered from the scandal and subsequently controlled 20% of the global match market.

It is quite possible that the Wallenbergs noticed the financial genius, actively helped him, and then took profits by eliminating the overly independent Ivar.

Version three.

Eustace Mullins "Secrets of the Federal Reserve System":

“During this depression, the trust operators achieved further control by supporting three international fraudsters, the Van Sweringen brothers, Samuel Insull and Ivar Kreuger. These people have created pyramids of billions of dollars of securities of fantastic heights.

The bankers who promoted them and promoted their stock issues could have stopped them at any time, demanding repayment of loans of less than a million dollars, but they let these people do their thing until they pocketed many of the industrial and financial firms that the banks took over. never".

Of these three, only Ivar died (shot himself), why?

Well, firstly, Ivar is a citizen of the Kingdom of Sweden, he may refuse to come and testify to the Senate Commission of the US Congress, and there will also be problems with his extradition for trial in the United States. In the USA, after the First World War, the population accumulated a large amount of money supply. And the bankers launched a mechanism for “honestly” taking money from the population.

It may be objected to me that they also suffered from the actions of scammers, here is the answer from the book of Eustace Mullins:

The New Republic noted on January 25, 1933, when it commented on the fact that the Lee Higginson Company was pushing Krueger and Toll securities into the American market: “Three-quarters of a billion dollars were sold. Who was able to dictate to the French police to keep secret news this all-important suicide within a few hours, during which someone sold Kruger securities in large quantities, thereby exiting the market before the fiasco?”

Of course, these were not ordinary Americans. But the main thing, in my opinion, is different: Ivar became a participant in the largest operation to withdraw funds from the United States to a holding company in Liechtenstein, Continental Investment Corporation. These funds disappeared after Ivar's death.

There is one more important detail: at that moment in the United States there was a struggle for the redistribution of influence in such an important structure as the Fed. The real players shared power; the group led by Morgan clashed with the Rockefellers.

The stages of the struggle are described in the book by S. Shcheglov and M. Khazin “Stairway to Heaven. Dialogues about power, careers and the global elite” (pp. 130–134), I will not cite it here; too much volume, and taken out of the context of the book, can only confuse.

Briefly: The Rockefellers, having introduced their representatives into the US power structures, organized hearings in Congress with subsequent changes in legislation and seriously squeezed out Morgan and Co. On June 16, 1933, the Banking Law passed all levels and was signed by President Roosevelt; The Morgans' quarter-century dominance in the US economy came to an end. When this law was adopted, the example of Ivar's activities was constantly cited.

It may be objected to me that it was the accountants of Morgan and Co. who were the first to begin to unravel Ivar’s scams, yes, they began and gained access to his accounts in Luxembourg. But greed let them down; Rockefeller’s people, in my opinion, were able to tie them to bank fraud, because they were the ones who got access to the money, and they left it to them as a consolation prize.


The fate of Ivar shows one thing: no matter how smart, inventive, resourceful, efficient and fabulously rich you are, without the support of the entire power of the repressive apparatus of the state behind you, you are a legitimate victim. They will fatten you up like a bull, and then slaughter you, and even blame you for your sins. Or they are used as a bargaining chip in the games of the truly powerful of this world.

Many articles and books have been written about Ivar, and my humble note is an attempt to concisely express my personal view of this story. But I hope it was interesting.

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  1. Luminman
    Luminman 13 September 2023 04: 43
    Please do not take this as nit-picking, but this is unnecessary:
    The United States actively prepared Europe for World War II

    I read the article with interest. Unfortunately, there are very few of them at VO. A plus for the author and the article...
    1. Mother Theresa
      13 September 2023 17: 23
      Now, if I, following the example of Western researchers, wrote that Ivar Kruger was killed by the “bloody executioners” from KEGIBE on the personal instructions of the “bloody dictator” Stalin because his democratic matches in a “fair” competitive struggle defeated the communist matches of the USSR in the European market, this would definitely be superfluous. Sorry for being too sarcastic. Ivara decided to get involved in politics at the most difficult, fundamental moment. One way or another, he was superfluous there.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 13 September 2023 05: 18
    But I hope it was interesting.
    Yes, it was interesting, and the conclusions were correct.
  3. north 2
    north 2 13 September 2023 05: 22
    I read this article about the global swindler, swindler and speculator Ivar Kruger. This is probably what he should have been called in the title of the article, and not with the harmless status of “Viking”.
    By the way, Kruger’s biographers called him the Raskolnikov of finance, and the organizers of the current financial pyramids consider him their teacher in the art of fraud.
  4. Kote Pan Kokhanka
    Kote Pan Kokhanka 13 September 2023 05: 36
    Many articles and books have been written about Ivar, and my humble note is an attempt to concisely express my personal view of this story. But I hope it was interesting.

    In one word to Mikhail (Author of the article) - thank you!!!
    All the good days!
  5. Kojote21
    Kojote21 13 September 2023 07: 27
    Many thanks to the author for the article! hi
    Yes, and the last name of the main character in the article turned out to be familiar... Coincidence? Don't think... smile
  6. Edward Vashchenko
    Edward Vashchenko 13 September 2023 07: 45
    Thanks to the author for an interesting topic!
    But I can’t help but note that comparing the actions of an entrepreneur and the government’s attitudes in the Russian Federation from the 90s to the present day is like comparing soft with white:
    Unlike domestic Russian economists, Ivar, as a real businessman, understood that the motto “the market itself will regulate everything” is for losers and, to put it mildly, for those who do not understand anything about economics.

    Entrepreneurs TAKE concrete actions in order to expand sales markets, obtain cheap raw materials and obtain monopolies. And here the hero of the article carried out classic actions to capture the market.
    While the meaning of the “invisible hand of the market” or “the market will put everything in its place” is that capital determines movements, not an individual. That is, it doesn’t matter who performs what actions, the “market” will all lead to the denominator that capital needs. According to the science of political economy.
    Condemnation of the actions of the rulers-economists in our country is due to the fact that as a result of their actions to promote the idea “the market will put everyone in their place,” the majority in the 90s suffered significant damage - “they were built into the market,” which is how the collapse of the Soviet economic potential.
    But from the point of view of the movement of capital, everything was done correctly, Russia integrated into the “civilized world” as a raw material appendage of developed (Europe, USA) and developing countries (China, and now even India).
    So, comparing the actions of an entrepreneur and the “economists” who created capitalism in the Russian Federation is not correct.
    1. Fat
      Fat 13 September 2023 08: 50
      Quote: Eduard Vaschenko
      Russia has integrated itself into the “civilized world” as a raw material appendage

      hi Greetings, Edward. Russia has integrated itself into the “civilized world” not as a raw material appendage, but as a donor of accessible energy resources. From crude oil and natural gas, to nuclear power plants and electricity.
      Have you ever played Monopoly?
      1. Edward Vashchenko
        Edward Vashchenko 13 September 2023 11: 52
        Good day, Andrey,
        Have you ever played Monopoly?

        Yes, laughing more in business than in a paper game laughing
    2. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 13 September 2023 11: 04
      Hello honest Company!
      Russia has not always been a raw material appendage. From the 18th to the 19th centuries, fur, metal, cast iron and copper products were exported from us. After the abolition of protective duties under Elizabeth, the massive export of grain began. Trade in timber, hemp and potash was practiced even under Ivan the Terrible.
      So our middle name was somewhere in the middle in the trade chains. Although it must be admitted that the final product was not often sold as export, it was not practiced to export bare ore.
      The same timber was exported after drying, often sawn. Linen in the form of fabrics. Iron - in the form of brick blanks or sheets.
      1. Edward Vashchenko
        Edward Vashchenko 13 September 2023 12: 05
        Vladislav greetings,
        I can't resist!
        I agree, it was not always a raw material appendage; from 1917 to 1991 (conditionally) it was not under the USSR.
        Contrary to the pseudoscientific tales that the USSR collapsed due to falling oil prices.
        In the period from the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century, pure water was a raw material appendage.
        One can argue about the period before the 18th century: there was no such concept, the main trade of all countries was carried out in raw materials, a small part traded in manufactured products (weapons, etc.)
        You can be a raw material appendage, not only about Russia, when there are industrial countries nearby or countries with industry that need either raw materials or food products (bread) in large quantities. When there were no second ones in the Middle Ages, there were no first ones either. There could be unequal exchange, but not raw material appendages laughing
        1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
          Kote Pan Kokhanka 13 September 2023 13: 34
          Regarding the USSR, I completely agree. They traded many things with Western countries, including cars. At one time I was looking for an opportunity to purchase a diesel Niva from France by re-export. It didn't work out.
          In the 18th century, products (with the exception of grain) underwent initial processing. The skins were tanned, the hemp was dried (and a third was sold as finished products). Dade leeches (canned). Technical lag began to be observed in the second half of the 19th century. At one time we even bought coal. And in England.
          1. 3x3zsave
            3x3zsave 13 September 2023 17: 09
            At one time I was looking for an opportunity to purchase a diesel Niva from France by re-export. It didn't work out
            It was a good car. But only for the agricultural conditions of France.
            1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
              Kote Pan Kokhanka 13 September 2023 18: 51
              Quote: 3x3zsave
              At one time I was looking for an opportunity to purchase a diesel Niva from France by re-export. It didn't work out
              It was a good car. But only for the agricultural conditions of France.

              I don’t know, my friend, my neighbor in the neighborhood still uses a similar device from 1995, to the envy of everyone. Ideal as a car for the forest and fishing.
          2. Fat
            Fat 13 September 2023 21: 51
            Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
            At one time we even bought coal. And in England.

            We bought coal, yes. The fact is that the Cardiff grade was the standard for assessing the service life of steam engines, and also served to establish the autonomy of the steamship.
      2. Fat
        Fat 13 September 2023 15: 59
        hi Greetings Vladislav.
        Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
        The same timber was exported after drying, often sawn. Linen in the form of fabrics. Iron - in the form of brick blanks or sheets.

        One of my relatives was the manager of a powerful enterprise in the defense complex. I remember his story about axes.
        In the 70s - 90s of the 20th century, Japan, or rather Japanese businessmen, purchased axes from the USSR on a cyclopean scale! Naturally axes: an ax is an ax handle. A reasonable question: why all this for samurai? Of course, they didn’t need axes. They were interested in ready-made, quite decent steel and wood... Two in one and at a discount smile
        1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
          Kote Pan Kokhanka 13 September 2023 16: 48
          Good evening, Andrey!
          I heard a similar story about wooden boxes with glass wool.
          1. Frettaskyrandi
            Frettaskyrandi 13 September 2023 19: 15
            Similar tales even circulated about KrAZ vehicles. In 1970, Japan produced 93 million tons of steel, and the USSR - 115 million tons. You understand that they did not spend millions of tons on axes.
  7. Fat
    Fat 13 September 2023 08: 40
    hi Mikhail Svetlov.
    Great article. Damn interesting! Thank you.
    Conspiracy theories are such a fascinating thing that you always want more.
    Don't make us, the readers, "Mikhail Svetlov! Too-too!" forever, come back
    With respect.
    1. Luminman
      Luminman 13 September 2023 08: 43
      Quote: Thick
      Conspiracy theories are such a fascinating thing that you always want more

      Conspiracy theories begin towards the end of the article, where they begin version. In all other respects, it’s quite a worthy article...
      1. Fat
        Fat 13 September 2023 09: 01
        Quote: Luminman
        Conspiracy theories begin towards the end of the article, where the versions begin. In all other respects, it’s quite a worthy article...

        hi Colleague. I think that the article only benefited from an excellent portion of “conspiracy theories.” Yes
        With respect.
        1. Mother Theresa
          13 September 2023 18: 10
          Quote: Thick
          "Mikhail Svetlov! Too-too!"
          You are very insightful. There is very little time to write articles.
  8. Frettaskyrandi
    Frettaskyrandi 13 September 2023 08: 59
    And this economic miracle of Ivar Kruger, like the entire Swedish economic miracle, has three godparents. Why three? So the family is Swedish. These godparents are: World War I, the Russian Revolution and World War II.
    Ivar also earned his very first capital during the war. During the Boer War, Ivar invests his savings in building a restaurant.

    Did the author decide to compete with Ryzhov in the field of historical fiction?
    Krueger never built a restaurant. After graduating from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1900, he went to the United States, where he worked for several companies doing design work for construction companies, including The Consolidated Engineering & Construction Co. and Purdy & Henderson in New York. It was there, participating in the implementation of large construction projects such as the Flatiron Building or the Vera Cruz Bridge, that Kruger gained the necessary experience and became familiar with the American business system.
    In the USA, Kruger became acquainted with the method of constructing reinforced concrete structures, which was used by Julius Kahn's Trussed Concrete Steel Company and received exclusive rights to introduce it in Sweden and Germany. Returning to Sweden, Kreuger founded the construction company Kreuger & Toll in 1908. It was in the construction business that Kruger earned his first capital and authority, without which his further scams would have been impossible.
    And Kruger came to South Africa after the Boer War, participating in the construction of the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg.
    And if the First World War contributed to the creation of Kruger’s financial empire, then with the revolution and the Second World War the author pulled an owl on the globe, as well as attempts to create a certain aura of mystery about the “games of the powers that be.”
    1. Mother Theresa
      13 September 2023 17: 59
      Do you really think that the construction company Kreuger & Toll, with an annual profit of about $200, became the source for creating a huge financial empire and issuing millions in loans? In the activities of Kreuger & Toll, a greater contribution was made by Paul Toll, who owned 000% of the company's shares, and Henrik Kruger, who later became the rector of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Ivar owned a small part of this company. Yes, the company received a contract for the construction of a number of significant facilities in Stockholm, the NK warehouse (60-1913), and the Stockholm Olympic Stadium (14-1911). Compare these structures with the building of the Civic Opera in Chicago line by line commissioned by the mentioned Samuel Insull. I didn’t mention a lot from the life of Ivar K, for example, I didn’t write that he was awarded a medal for saving a drowning man. That he was the only one who survived from an entire brigade that became infected with yellow fever. Ivar K was the founder of the Swedish film industry and was personally acquainted with the then Hollywood stars. I didn’t pry into the personal life of Ivar K, although many more professional authors, depending on the degree of “love” for the hero, brought out a lot of dirty laundry.
      In the Russian Empire, factories produced 1913 thousand boxes in 3753 (a thousand boxes each), and all factories employed about 20 thousand workers. After the revolution, until 1922, matches were not exported from the USSR. The main competitor was out for a long time. And do you think that pulling an owl onto a globe? This is what Boris G. A. writes, “The match is a hundred years old.” “The Kreiger concern, the main core of which was the Swedish Match Trust and headed by Ivar Kreiger, was especially distinguished in this anti-Soviet campaign. This concern accounted for 3/4 of world production (without the USSR) and 80% of world exports of matches. But in addition, Kreiger, investing large amounts of capital in real estate speculation, in government loans, in a number of different industries, was engaged in very dark fraudulent transactions. And this swindler became an almost legendary figure in the decaying capitalist world. With the greatest skill, he extracted super-profits from people's poverty, robbed the gullible public who rushed to buy his “most reliable stocks and bonds,” received subsidies from the Swedish government, and monopolized the production and sale of matches in a number of countries.
      Kreiger tried to impose enslaving terms of transactions on the USSR, but was unsuccessful - the Soviet match did not fall into his hands and punched sensitive holes in his monopolies. Then Kreiger began to fight against the USSR with all his might and means. He surrounded the Union with a ring of match monopolies in almost all countries bordering us, financed anti-Soviet campaigns, supported white emigrant gangs in China, and campaigned in every way against our matches. But the bony hand of an economic crisis unprecedented in the history of capitalism grabbed Kreiger by the throat. Having become completely entangled in his dark machinations, he committed suicide in March 1932, and his concern began to fall apart at the seams.”
  9. kor1vet1974
    kor1vet1974 13 September 2023 10: 37
    Interestingly, the diaries and personal notes of the deceased, seized by the police, were then destroyed, so that relatives and friends were not even able to look at them. But by and large, Ivar Kruger turned out to be a swindler of the highest class, who cut his teeth on colossal loan transactions, which he entered into without having cash. The reporting of all subsidiaries and companies was filled with fictitious licenses, concessions, permits, non-existent transactions and contracts. The dividends that were regularly paid to investors came... from the investors themselves! That is, new investments covered the interest on old ones. Most of the funds ended up in Ivar Kruger’s personal accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
    1. Frettaskyrandi
      Frettaskyrandi 13 September 2023 13: 01
      The dividends that were regularly paid to investors came... from the investors themselves!

      Kruger did not come up with anything new. This type of financial pyramid is called a Ponzi scheme. Interestingly, such a scheme was developed back in the 1870s by women - the German actress and swindler Adelheid Louise “Adele” Spitzeder and the American swindler Sarah Howe.
      But the first truly large-scale scam using this scheme was carried out in the United States in the 1920s by the Italian Charles Ponzi, immortalizing his name. Therefore, Kruger did not need to invent anything. He simply talentedly and on a grand scale implemented the developments of his predecessors.
      1. kor1vet1974
        kor1vet1974 13 September 2023 14: 05
        Kruger did not come up with anything new.
        Does this change anything or does it change anything? What turned out to be a swindler of the highest class smile
      2. Mother Theresa
        13 September 2023 17: 55
        Comparing Charles Ponzi and Ivar Kruger is like comparing the explosion of a barrel of gunpowder and an atomic bomb. Both there is a release of energy, but the nature is completely different. Ponzi is an ordinary swindler who dealt with ordinary investors who did not understand anything about finance. Behind Ponzi there was nothing but postage stamps “Ponzi turns one dollar into a million and does it by rolling up his sleeves. You just give him a dollar, and Ponzi puts six zeros on it." (Boston Traveler, July 1920) "Ponzi gives everyone the opportunity to get rich quick. Lend him money - from 50 dollars to 50 thousand - and in 180 days he will return you exactly twice as much" (Evening New York). Well, what self-respecting businessman would believe this. Ivar dealt with Boston Brahmins, Wallenbergs and other wolves who understood everything about banking and finance. It was in hindsight that a version emerged that this was all just a very large financial pyramid. Ordinary investors have themselves to blame, greed. Ivar Kruger is a real enterprise of 80% of the matches market, 50% of the pulp and iron ore market. Leading European enterprises, gold mines. And suddenly it was an ordinary financial pyramid, just very big. This is definitely Ivar Kruger, whose ideas and decisions the modern financial world lives on. Well, if he was crazy then yes. The version that he was a gambler also does not stand up to criticism.
        1. Frettaskyrandi
          Frettaskyrandi 13 September 2023 18: 41
          Comparing Charles Ponzi and Ivar Kruger is like comparing the explosion of a barrel of gunpowder and an atomic bomb. Both there is a release of energy, but the nature is completely different

          Physics is clearly not your strong point. Just like logic. You can't see the forest for the trees.
          An explosion is a fast-paced process of physical and chemical transformations of substances, accompanied by the release of a large amount of energy in a limited volume. That is, the nature, the essence of the explosions is absolutely the same. But the scales are different. Like Ponzi and Kruger.
          1. Mother Theresa
            15 September 2023 00: 04
            What they wrote was stupid. Brevity is the soul of wit.
    2. Mother Theresa
      13 September 2023 18: 08
      History is written by the winners. The family of Ivar Kruger continues to fight for his good name. What’s even more surprising is that, besides Ivar Kruger, only two people were injured: Oskar Rydbeck, a Swedish banker, and Thorsten Kruger, who escaped with 12 months in prison and fines.
  10. Mother Theresa
    13 September 2023 17: 28
    Dear readers, thank you for your rating and comments. I thought that the article would be posted in Opinions, and I decided to be a little mischievous and moved a little away from the academic presentation of the material.
  11. motorized rifle
    motorized rifle 13 September 2023 18: 56
    I read an article about the Match King back in Soviet times, in the children's magazine "Young Technician". The king’s surname was not mentioned there, and the reason for the suicide, according to the magazine author, was competition from the USSR. Those. The USSR actively began selling matches all over the world, and at such a low price that Swedish matches could not compete. The match king even tried, through the League of Nations, to initiate a review of the conditions for the production of matches in the USSR, arguing that the low price was obtained because the free labor of Gulag prisoners was used. At the end of the article, the king’s “perverted capitalist” behavior is described: he bought a revolver and a box of cartridges, because cartridges were cheaper in bulk, but loaded the revolver with one cartridge and shot himself.
  12. Korsar4
    Korsar4 13 September 2023 20: 36
    Thank you. Liked. Aspen was good for a lot of things. Only now it’s hard to find it without rot. However, there is enough raw material for matches. And slowly a replacement is being found.
    1. Fat
      Fat 13 September 2023 22: 15
      Antti Ihalainen lived happily on a farm in the Liperi community with his wife Anna-Lisa. One day, when the Ihalainens’ house ran out of matches and there was nothing to light a fire to make the coffee so beloved by the Finns, Anna-Lisa sent him to their neighbor Hyvärinen for matches.
      1. Korsar4
        Korsar4 14 September 2023 04: 38
        I watched it in pieces. And, to be honest, I’m not hooked yet. Although Leonov's acting is almost always very good.