Ivar Kreuger (Swedish pronunciation: [ˌiːvar ˈkryːɡər]; March 2, 1880 – March 12, 1932) was a Swedish civil engineer, financier, entrepreneur and industrialist. In 1908 he co-founded the construction company Kreuger & Toll Byggnads AB, which specialized in new building techniques. By aggressive investments and innovative financial instruments he built a global match and financial empire. Between the two world wars, he negotiated match monopolies with European and Central and South American governments, and finally controlled between two thirds and three quarters of worldwide match production, becoming known as the ""Match King"".Kreuger's financial empire has been described by one biographer as a Ponzi scheme, based on the supposedly fantastic profitability of Kreuger's match monopolies. However, in a Ponzi scheme early investors are paid dividends from their own money or that of subsequent investors. Although Kreuger did this to some extent, he also controlled many legitimate and often very profitable businesses, and owned banks, real estate, a rich mine, and pulp and industrial companies, besides his many match companies. Many of them have survived to this day. Kreuger & Toll, for example, was composed of bona fide businesses, and there were others like it. Another biographer called Kreuger a ""genius and swindler"", and John Kenneth Galbraith wrote that he was the ""Leonardo of larcenists"". Kreuger's financial empire collapsed during the Great Depression, and in March 1932, he was found dead in the bedroom of his flat in Paris. The police concluded that he had committed suicide, but decades later his brother Torsten claimed that he had been murdered, which spawned some controversial literature on the subject (see below).