Above Photo: Alessandro/Flickr
At the demise of empire, Britain transformed from a colonial power into a financial one that today is estimated to hide up to half of global offshore wealth.
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 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.
But, as the world of offshore finance grew, so too did the inherent corruption that secrecy and unaccountability breed. Isolated instances of fraud became institutionalized business practices, and before long began to seep into and corrupt not just finance but the political process in Britain itself, allowing a narrow elite to dominate.
This documentary is the story of how the unregulated offshore world came about, its global impact, and why it has been allowed to flourish.
The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire premiered at the Cine Pobre Festival in Mexico and features interviews with Nicholas Shaxson, Michael Hudson, Prem Sikka, Eva Joly and John Christensen, among others.