from SpidersWebFilm Website



In the days of the British Empire, London served as the world's most impressive financial center.


As the empire began its decline, anti-colonial sentiment became more rampant and greater numbers of British territories began to strive for independence.


The financial stronghold of its capital city began to deteriorate as well.


'The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire' recounts how the country transformed to become a global financial power in the face of these challenges, and how their continued prominence shapes the world we live in today.

The City of London banking network began constructing a web of overseas jurisdictions in the wake of the empire's demise, and hid these monies offshore where they were sheltered from meaningful outside scrutiny.


They started to indulge in unregulated forms of lending using U.S. currency.


This wealth was accumulated through any means necessary, including a laundry list of nefarious acts of fraud, tax evasion, drugs and arms trading, and additional covert operations.


It's a system rife with corruption.


Some of the money was stripped from poor countries, depriving these struggling economies of their capacity for badly needed growth and infrastructure development.

Throughout the film, we are presented with a tale of two Londons.


One is the bustling epicenter much romanticized by the United States and other parts of the world while the other is a freewheeling market run by elite business players who cleverly shirk the gaze of international financial regulations.

"In Britain, bankers are a protected species," confesses one interview subject who is part of a chorus of whistle-blowers, financial insiders and social justice activists who populate the film.

We are told that as much as $50 trillion dollars reside in overseas accounts that act as tax havens; many of the most robust of these havens are British.

The end result is a system that works to benefit the wealthiest individuals.


Meanwhile, the hard-working taxpaying citizens continue to struggle and suffer.

Featuring a collage of authentic newsreel footage and insights from a team of top financial investigators, 'The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire' is immaculately researched and well presented portrait of a complex global conspiracy.









'The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire,' is a documentary film that shows how Britain transformed from a colonial power into a global financial power.


At the demise of empire, City of London financial interests created a web of offshore secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and hid it behind obscure financial structures in a web of offshore islands.


Today, up to half of global offshore wealth may be hidden in British offshore jurisdictions and Britain and its offshore jurisdictions are the largest global players in the world of international finance.


How did this come about, and what impact does it have on the world today?


This is what the Spider's Web sets out to investigate.

With contributions from leading experts, academics, former insiders and campaigners for social justice, the use of stylized b-roll and archive footage, the Spider's Web reveals how in the world of international finance, corruption and secrecy have prevailed over regulation and transparency, and the UK is right at the heart of this.







Nicholas Shaxson's "Treasure Islands" had been on my reading list for many years, by the time I finally picked it up I did so not expecting that it would take me on a journey to a documentary.


Tax Havens and financial secrecy are never out of the press these days, and so when I made contact with Nicholas Shaxson to see if he would be willing to take part in yet another documentary on the topic he replied he would but diplomatically added that,

"the field is slowly becoming more crowded."

After reading "Treasure Islands," I realized that there was an interesting, coherent and self-contained story that had not been told, the story of Britain's transformation from a colonial power to a financial power, and the myriad and obscure financial structures created by City of London financial interests that lie at the heart of this transformation.


Today, Britain and its dependencies are by far the largest global player in the world of financial secrecy and international finance.


This documentary explores how Britain came to hold this position and what impact this has had on Britain and the world.

After 4 months of research and writing, the various parts of the story began to fall into place. It also became apparent that there was one person who had already figured out the story, that person was John Christensen, a former economic adviser to Jersey and the co-founder of the Tax Justice Network.


John Christensen agreed to be a producer on this film and his expertise and experience have been invaluable in its production.

I'd also like to give special thanks to Sean Boucher who spent 4 months working with me and wrote the majority of the soundtrack, and Executive

Producer Simeon Roberts who will make sure the film reaches the widest possible audience.


It would take too long to individually thank every person who contributed to the film, or the numerous translators who will be making the film available in their respective languages.


This film received no funding, it is thanks to everyone who was willing to give their time and expertise that its creation was possible.


We sent hundreds of emails to broadcasters and funding bodies, but not a single one deemed the film worthy of support.


We disagree, we think this film is interesting and relevant in today's world and we hope you think so too.

In the days of Empire, Britain transferred the mineral and commodity wealth of its imperial possessions back to Britain.


Britain's tax haven empire is a modern version of this wealth extraction.


Britain is a complex country where corruption is hidden behind multiple layers and those ultimately responsible are difficult to identify.


I hope this film will help shine a light on part of this obscurity and contribute to the creation of a world where financial rules and regulations are to the relative benefit of all players and apply to all participants equally regardless of their position or importance.


Michael Oswald





by Independent POV
September 14, 2018

from YouTube Website




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