Nick Holdsworth
Journalist, writer, author, filmmaker and film and TV industry expert – Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.

The Spider’s Web employs an array of experts in offshore tax havens to detail the degree to which the British elite has created a system of shocking inequity. This is a film all ordinary, tax-paying citizens should watch.

«At the twilight of the British Empire, bankers, lawyers and accountants from the City of London set up a spider’s web of offshore secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and funnelled it to London.»

This on-screen statement opens Michael Oswald’s powerful and accessible film.

Voice-over images of the decline and end of the British Empire – troops and native police beating back crowds of demonstrators; tanks on exercises, a human skull mounted on the hull of one – enunciate the film’s timely thesis.

«As British elites saw their wealth, privileges and empire disintegrate, they began to search for a new role in a changing world and they found one: in finance.»

«This is a film about how Britain transformed from a colonial power to a modern financial power and how this transformation has shaped the world we live in,» the narration continues.

From this firm foundation, the film employs an array of experts in offshore tax havens, banking and accountancy to detail the degree to which the British elite – and its political servants in parliament – has created a system of shocking inequity that is today complicit in many of the world’s global ills.

The Eurodollar market

Post-Imperial decline and a run on the pound prompted the creation of a system of double accounting that allowed the City of London to become the leading centre for international financial transactions.

This was done via a system called the Eurodollar market, which lead directly to the establishment of offshore tax havens.

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