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The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire (2017)

How Britain transformed from an imperial power to a financial power.


Michael Oswald


Michael Oswald (screenplay)

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Credited cast:
Joel Benjamin Joel Benjamin ... Himself
Peter Cain Peter Cain ... Himself
John Christensen John Christensen ... Himself
Alex Cobham Alex Cobham ... Himself
Paul Gilbert Paul Gilbert ... Himself
Michael Hudson Michael Hudson ... Himself
Eva Joly Eva Joly ... Herself
Ronen Palan Ronen Palan ... Himself
Andrew Piper Andrew Piper ... (voice)
Nicholas Shaxson Nicholas Shaxson ... Himself
Prem Sikka Prem Sikka ... Himself
Susan Steed Susan Steed ... Herself
Stuart Syvret Stuart Syvret ... Himself
Attiya Waris Attiya Waris ... Herself


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 ...

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Release Date:

5 May 2017 (Mexico) See more »

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User Reviews

A Conspiracy to Defraud the Country
4 March 2018 | by taboneSee all my reviews

I've just watched this documentary on the Freeview channel 'Together'. It's a fascinating, compelling and well-made film about how the City of London increased its influence through the use of tax havens after the break up of the British Empire.

The documentary is extremely informative and eye-opening, but be warned, it can also leave you feeling angry and disillusioned about how successive governments, politicians, and the Establishment have combined to legally defraud the tax payer.

Sadly, nothing seems to change, probably because the same people who could actually do something are the very people who are enriching themselves through these tax havens. I really enjoyed this well-made film and I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in current affairs.

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