Billions to Bust and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune

Billions to Bust and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune

by Thor Bjorgolfsson


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Thor Bjorgolfsson became Iceland's first billionaire. On his fortieth birthday, and worth $3.5 billion, he was sitting on top of the world. His biggest triumph was the takeover of Iceland's second-largest bank, Landsbanki, but when financial meltdown hit in 2008, Landsbanki crashed and burned, taking Bjorgolfsson with it. Within twelve months he had lost 3.3 billion euros and was treated as a scapegoat for supposedly bringing about the disaster. Faced with appalling debts, Bjorgolfsson has since made good on his promises to repay his creditors, and at the age of forty-seven is now a billionaire once again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781253694
Publisher: Profile Books Limited
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 829,655
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Thor Bjorgolfsson is a self-styled 'adventure capitalist' and was Iceland's first billionaire. Born in 1967, his earliest business deal was persuading his father to lend him $80 to buy vintage Marvel and X-Men comics, an investment that he still holds. He made his first $100 million in 2002, from the sale of his Russian Bravo brewery business to Heineken. At the age of 40, Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $3.4 billion and featured him on its cover.

Table of Contents

Prologue: On top of the world ix

1 Billions to bust 1

2 A tale of two Thors: 1967-1986 13

3 Adventure capitalism in Russia: 1986-2002 35

4 Exceptional returns in emerging Europe: 1999-2008 67

5 Never go back: 2000-2004 93

6 The very public meltdown of God's frozen people: 2008-2009 113

7 How to lose $4 billion in ten months: 2008-2009 135

8 Aftershock: 2009-2010 159

9 This time is never different: 2010-2013 181

10 That's life: 2014- 203

Epilogue 213


1 Timeline 217

2 The St Petersburg drinks factories 218

3 How the wealth built up 219

4 How the banks shrank in the crash 220

5 Russia 1998 and Iceland 2008: a comparison of financial collapses by Olafur Margeirsson 221

Acknowledgements 230

Index 233

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