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Complainant Name:
Mr Sten Kreuger

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Economist


Mr Sten Kreuger complained, through David Price Solicitors & Advocates, that an article on the subject of his uncle Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish match magnate who died in 1932, was inaccurate and based on research that has subsequently been challenged.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following online letter from the complainant:

On 19 December 2007 you published an article about Ivar Kreuger headed The match king. The article repeated a number of allegations previously made about Ivar Kreuger, including that he was guilty of financial impropriety and forgery. The article also claimed that rather than owning up to the forgery, Ivar Kreuger committed suicide. The article was mainly based on a book written by the journalist Robert Shaplen in 1960.

There have been a number of publications about the life and business practices of Ivar Kreuger since his death in 1932. Already at the time of the publication of Robert Shaplens book there were a number of books that contradicted the theories put forward by Shaplen. Also after 1960 several books were published that strongly question Shaplens theories. At the end of 1990 previously classified material about Ivar Kreuger, contained in the Swedish National Archive in Riksarkivet, become available to the public for the first time. The availability of new source material, together with recent research, has led to the publication of a number of books that support a different view of Ivar Kreuger.

The work of Mr Lars-Jonas Ångström has revealed new information about the circumstances of Ivar Kreugers death that casts doubt over the alleged suicide. Mr Ångströms work also challenges allegations of financial impropriety made against Ivar Kreuger, in particular that he was responsible for the forgery of Italian bonds supposedly sold to him by Benito Mussolinis government.

It is very disappointing that you choose not to report any of these new findings in your article, which merely repeats outdated views of Kreuger the swindler and that you have refrained from mentioning the other views and theories that have been put forward by renowned journalists and writers.

I am of the opinion that it is remarkable that one of the worlds leading economic publications can choose to base an article mainly on outdated material and without taking into consideration the research and theories that has been put forward both before 1960 and thereafter.

Report: 78

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