At the demise of the empire, City of London financial interests created a web of secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and hid it in a web of offshore islands.
Today, up to half of the global offshore wealth is hidden in British jurisdictions and Britain and its dependencies are the largest global players in the world of international finance.
The Spider’s Web was written, directed and produced by Michael Oswald, you can sponsor his future films on Patreon
This documentary was heavily inspired by Nicholas Shaxson’s book Treasure Islands, here is a brief extract from the book:
In 2009 I met a former private banker, Beth Krall, to explore a question that had been nagging me: how do bankers who shelter the wealth of gangsters and corrupt politicians justify what they do? We met one Sunday in Washington DC. She had left private banking and joined the non-governmental sector. Dressed in a striking black-and-white coat, she still looked very much the stylish international financier. Aged 47, and with nearly 24 years in the banking business, Krall (not her real name) was still coming to terms with her past life.
Krall’s last offshore posting was in the Bahamas, an island archipelago with over 300,000 residents that has been an important offshore centre since the golden age of American organised crime. A few months earlier, a practitioner in the Caymans had warned me to watch out for my personal safety if I went “asking all these questions” in the Bahamas. Krall said she was unsure what might happen to her if she went back, as she was partly breaking the private bankers’ code of silence. “I don’t want to have concrete shoes put on me,” she said without smiling. One reason for her fear was something that had angered her in the first place: so many of the people she dealt with were powerful members of society in their home countries.
The Guardian have a continued extract here