The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire (Documentary)

The film you are about to see
was entirely self-funded, at a budget of £4000. 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. The British soldier: all around the globe you’ll find him, from Gibraltar to Hong Kong. Everywhere he stands against
the threatening years, staunch symbol of our common will to order. Fire! The Spider’s Web:
Britain’s Second Empire The British Empire. The largest Empire the world has ever known. For over 300 years Britain ruled, its armies conquered and its bankers
proclaimed the might of its currency. But one day it all began to fall apart. One by one countries declared
their independence from Britain, and no amount of force
could reverse the tide. 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. In the days of the British Empire the City of London was the world’s
biggest global financial centre. The City of London was the beating
financial heart of the British Empire. Historians Cain and Hopkins called it
the governor of the imperial engine. All these countries in the empire
used to use the sterling currency and the City of London was the financier, not just inside the sterling zone
but outside the sterling zone as well. As Britain’s Empire declined,
so too did the City of London. Newsreel: One British Army truck is bombed,
killing two soldiers and wounding 12. As rioting becomes daily
more widespread on Cyprus, young people of high-school age
take an increasing part in the violence. Here, a group of girls are being dispersed after a rock-throwing battle
with British Military Police. With the decline of Empire, British commercial interests
across the globe were under threat. In 1956 Egypt nationalised the Suez Canal. Newsreel: A new Middle East crisis arises, as president Nasser of Egypt
tells a wildly cheering crowd in Alexandria that Egypt has seized the
internationally owned Suez Canal. Newsreel: France and Britain
issue a 12-hour ultimatum. Within hours of its expiration, Britain’s warplanes are
winging their way to Egypt and its Bombers attack
5 key cities including Cairo. The United States was
opposed to the invasion and put pressure on Britain and France
to withdraw their troops. There will be no United States
involvement in these present hostilities. It is our hope and intent
that this matter will be brought before the United Nations General Assembly. There, the opinion of the world
can be brought to bear in our quest for a just end
to this tormenting problem. Britain was humiliated. The Suez Crisis signified
the end of Britain’s role as one of the world’s major powers. Following the crisis there was
a run on sterling, the UK pound. Some suspected the American government was encouraging this run on the UK pound. As financiers withdrew
their money from Britain, the value of the pound decreased. To protect the value of the pound,
Britain limited the banks’ overseas lending. They were unable to invest abroad, and obviously they were unhappy. We don’t know exactly the context, but it is very clear that the banks
or their representatives made a representation to the Bank of England, which in itself was dominated by
representatives from the banking industry. It seems that they reached an agreement,
which was never written, that if banks intermediated
between two non-residents, in a foreign currency,
in that case the dollar, this particular intermediation,
this particular deal, would not be considered by the
Bank of England under its own jurisdiction. The banks began to create
a market for dollars in London, called the London Eurodollar market. To differentiate these Euromarket activities
from their domestic banking activities, banks kept two sets of accounts. The Bank of England, the UK regulator, declared that the London Euromarket accounts
were not in London, they were elsewhere, and therefore it had no responsibility
for regulating them. It is about providing a legal space in which you pretend
activity is taking place. And the importance of that is that you pretend it is not taking place in the economy where
it really is taking place. So you are taking activity from
the place where it is regulated and taxed, and pretending that it is happening elsewhere. Now, where doesn’t really matter,
it’s just elsewhere. When American banks realised that London offered the ability
to avoid US regulations, they moved their international
operations to the City. Around the same time as American banks were moving their international
operations to London, another new kind of financial space
began to emerge, far away from London,
in Britain’s overseas jurisdictions, the last remnants of Empire. Back in the 1960s the Cayman Islands
was a complete backwater. The stories go that mosquitoes
were so thick in the air that they were enough
to suffocate cows. That is a legend
about the Cayman Islands, I don’t know how true it was,
but there was nothing happening there. Accountants and lawyers from London arrived in the Cayman Islands
and other British dependencies, and began to draft a set of
financial secrecy laws and regulations. Because these jurisdictions’
main selling point was secrecy, they were called “secrecy jurisdictions”. What the Cayman Islands was doing
was straightforward illegal activity. Drugs money was coming in
in huge quantities. Tax evasion, whatever you wanted,
you could have it. The Bank of England was observing
the developments from London and noted in a report marked secret
dated 11th of April 1969, “We need to be quite sure that the possible proliferation
of trust companies, banks, etc, which in most cases would be
no more than brass plates manipulating assets outside the islands, does not get out of hand. There is of course no objection to their
providing bolt holes for non-residents, but we need to be sure that in so doing
opportunities are not created for the transfer of UK capital to the
non-sterling area outside UK rules”. These small territories,
the last remnants of the British Empire, which are still overseas territories today, they are still the last
of the empire. There are 14 of these overseas territories. Seven of them are bona fide tax havens, including the Cayman Islands,
Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands… Some of the biggest tax havens
in the world today are still British. With access to large amounts of
offshore money the Euromarket grew rapidly. By 1980 it had reached $500 billion, by 1988 $4.8 trillion, and by 1997 nearly 90%
of all international loans were made through this market. The British Empire had sunk,
leaving hardly a trace behind, but the City of London
adapted and survived. The City of London,
London’s financial district, is a peculiar place. It has been called a city within a city,
a state within a state. It is run by an organisation called
the City of London Corporation, a private company that performs
all the functions of a local council with a private police force
and private courts. Those of you who are not from the UK,
and some of you even who are, might not be aware just how weird
a thing the little City of London is within the big London. The City of London is a separate entity
to the wider London, and it has its own head,
the Lord Mayor, who is distinct from the mayor
who runs the rest of London. Every November,
the City stages the Lord Mayor’s show, the world’s oldest civic procession. The City of London has long had
this curious legal status, because back in 1066 when
William the Conqueror came over, the City was one of the only portions
of England that he failed to conquer. And he struck a deal with the City in 1067 that allowed them to continue functioning. To this day the City of London is exempt from numerous laws
that govern the rest of Britain. Its political system derives
from the Middle Ages. The City’s electorate is dominated
not by its residents, but by the private businesses
operating within the City. Its Lord Mayor is selected
by the heads of medieval guilds. They have a representative
in the House of Commons, called the Remembrancer. Apart from the clerks of the court
of the House of Commons he is the only unelected person there. All other lobbyists
have to stop in the lobby. The City of London has a permanent
representative in the House of Commons, whose role is to report back
to the City of London Corporation and to lobby Parliament
on behalf of the City. The Corporation of London clearly
is a unique and interesting phenomenon that should have attracted
many political scientists, political economists and economists. But I don’t know of anyone who has studied systematically
the Corporation of London and its impact on policy,
or economic policy. So we can only surmise. Some people assume or surmise that the Corporation of London
is extremely powerful and is able in one way or another
to shape British policy, particularly in financial methods. Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister
after World War II, had something to say about
the City of London Corporation. “Over and over again we have seen
that there is in this country another power than that
which has its seat at Westminster. The City of London, a convenient term
for a collection of financial interests, is able to assert itself against
the government of the country. Those who control money
can pursue a policy at home and abroad contrary to that which has been
decided by the people”. At the heart of the City of London
stands the Bank of England. The Bank of England
is not just a Central Bank, it is also a financial regulator. At the demise of Empire the Bank of England used
this regulatory authority to help attract the
world’s banks to London. In 1972, the Bank of England issued a licence to the Bank of Credit and
Commerce International, which set up its head office in London. Within ten years BCCI grew into
the 7th largest bank in the world. Ten years later BCCI was bankrupt. News: The deputy director of the CIA
Richard Kerr, said late today, that the CIA did use BCCI
to support CIA activities overseas. But BCCI had not just collaborated with
the world’s intelligence services, it had also engaged in
extensive financial fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing. BCCI constituted
international global crime of a level that boggles the mind. News: BCCI was financing terrorism,
the Bank of England knew it, says the report, but instead of supervising it properly,
it tried to prevent the bank’s collapse. I am saying very directly that the Bank of England had
sufficient information in front of it to close BCCI 15 months
earlier than it did, and millions of depositors
were hurt in that process. Numerous whistleblowers from BCCI
had contacted the Bank of England, yet the Bank of England did nothing. The Bank of England had plenty of time
to intervene and investigate but it did not do so because the tradition
at that time, which still survives, is that you have to just kind of send
hints and talk over lunch tables with the chaps regulating other chaps and all will be well. Robin Leigh Pemberton,
the Governor of the Bank of England at the time of the collapse of BCCI, commented, “The present system of supervision has
served the community well… If we closed down a bank every time
we found an incidence of fraud, you would have rather fewer banks
than we do at the moment”. London was a place for banks
to engage in business that was not allowed elsewhere, where senior bankers did not have to worry
about the consequences of their actions. This is one of the reasons why today
there are more banks in London than in any other financial centre. In Britain nobody goes to jail, no bankers go to jail,
they generally don’t. They are a protected species. And that is part of the
offshore business model of the UK, is to say, “Bring your money here
we will look after you, we will not put you in prison,
we’ll let you do what you want”. Light-touch regulation was one way
of attracting business to London. Another was secrecy. From the 1960s onwards, City of London institutions began
to establish offshore branches in former outposts of the British Empire. Their aim was to create offshore centres
with strong secrecy legislation, in order to attract capital
from across the globe. Swiss banking secrecy is the most famous. You know you put your
money in a Swiss bank and they promise not to tell anybody. That is one kind of secrecy.
But another kind of secrecy, which is very British, is the trust, and the trust is a very slippery,
complicated and devious mechanism. Trusts emerged, the legend has it,
from the time of the Crusades, when knights would go off
to fight in foreign lands and they would leave their assets
in the care of trusted stewards. What trusts do ultimately is they play
with the concept of ownership. Ownership is not such a simple thing. So the settlor, the knight in this case,
would hand over the assets to someone, who these days would be called
a trustee, it is often a lawyer. Legally you are separated from those assets, they are not yours anymore, there is a barrier. You can’t be taxed on them, nobody is going to find anything about
your connection to these assets. In Britain’s offshore jurisdictions no qualifications are necessary
to be a trustee, anyone can set up a trust
and act as a trustee. There is no registry of trusts, there are no bodies to certify
that a trust has been set up. The only persons who know
about the creation of this agreement are the trustee and the settlor. There is no obligation to register it. There is no financial reporting
obligation of trusts. They are not required to put annual
statements onto account anywhere. So, trusts are to all intents and
purposes invisible arrangements. Economist John Christensen
was an economic adviser to the secrecy jurisdiction of
Jersey for ten years. We are not talking about a few million. We are talking now about trillions. Trillions of dollars of capital
which apparently belong to nobody. For tax purposes and for other purposes,
they belong to nobody. Everything, works of art, gold bullion,
racehorses, cars, real estate, not just financial assets but a
whole load of non-financial assets, belong to these trusts, sitting there belonging to nobody. Now, think that one through, because we are talking about maybe
as much as $50 trillion of assets sitting offshore behind
these instruments. The Cayman Islands are among
several British overseas territories who have signed a new
information exchange agreement with Britain and the rest of
Europe to tackle tax evasion. The countries are now required
to automatically provide details of the ownership of bank accounts
and how they are used. Cayman became the first
signatory last week. It is important that the
Cayman Islands should be recognised as the first overseas territory to sign
such an agreement with the United Kingdom, and I think this importantly reflects
the constructive approach that the Cayman Islands has taken in delivering our shared objective
of rooting out tax evasion. The trust lies at the core
of the British secrecy model. They don’t use banking secrecy:
the Swiss use banking secrecy. The British of course are only too
willing to kill off banking secrecy because they will then
capture a larger market share. That is why the Brits are doing this. Trusts are the basic building block
of Anglo-Saxon secrecy and they form the basis from which
complex offshore structures are created. Every secrecy jurisdiction offers
a specific set of services, from trusts to shell companies to secret bank accounts
and nominee directors. The combination of these services
into complex structures spanning multiple jurisdictions enables the creation of secrecy structures that are almost impossible to penetrate. An offshore structure will often
have a trust kind of sitting on top of it. The trust will be here managing the assets,
kind of controlling the assets. Underneath that the trust will
own some shell companies, each one might be in a different jurisdiction. So you might have a trust in one jurisdiction,
whose trustees are somewhere else, whose beneficiaries are somewhere else, which owns offshore companies
somewhere else. Each of these companies
might then own assets, they might own a bank account,
a racehorse, a yacht, a painting, a portfolio of
shares or whatever. There are numerous variations of trusts
and offshore secrecy structures. There are offshore lawyers
whose work entails the creation of ever more complex
and obscure structures. The aim of these structures is to hide
the identity of the owners of offshore assets and allow offshore wealth to be
recycled back into global markets. Looking at the amount of money being administered from tax havens, you see that it is a curve going like this. And all the talking we have been doing
along with other wonderful people fighting against tax havens
has not changed anything. It is a world were you go on talking
and go on talking: “You’re interesting me, but I’ll go on
doing what I want to do”. We know everything today, because we have had the Panama Papers. We have seen it,
and we are not able to act upon it. And we are not able to act upon it because this system is really protecting the few people who are
benefiting from it. And these are in percentage
very few people, but they are powerful. And I see in the Panama Committee
that I’m sitting in that the only thing that could change this is to have a publicly accessible
register of the beneficial ownership of trusts and of all kinds
of companies. It is easy. The Panama Papers are
a collection of leaks from the offshore law firm
Mossack Fonseca. Mossack Fonseca is the
4th largest offshore law firm. The other nine of the ten
largest offshore law firms are registered in British
overseas jurisdictions. When countries complain to Britain about the activities run out of
its offshore havens, Britain claims that these
places are independent and that there is nothing it can do. I have heard time and
time again from officials in Berlin and in Paris and in
Washington and in other countries, that they have been told
by the British government, yes, they are aware of
what is going on in Jersey and they think it is very unfortunate, but they don’t have the
powers to intervene. Well, that is a straightforward lie. They do have the powers to intervene,
they just choose not to. Britain plays this kind of game of pretending when it
suits them to pretend that these places are independent. At the end of the day Britain
appoints the governor, appoints lots of senior
people in these places, they are responsible for
foreign relations and defence and also they can veto
their legislation as well. So, Britain has a massive degree of control, basically it is controlling these places. It is allowing them a little
bit of political space. During his time as economic
adviser to Jersey, John Christensen frequently
travelled to London for talks with various
British government departments. As economic adviser I had a lot of
contact with different departments. Traditionally, UK governments
have tried not to interfere in the domestic affairs
of places like Jersey. So it happens in a more subtle sort of way, you kind of go and talk to someone
either at the Home Office or the Treasury and they’d say, “We are not actually particularly keen on this piece of legislation, it might be a good idea if you
didn’t go down that route”. And over a cup of tea, that is
quite a strong signal, that is a signal, “Go back to the island
and say they don’t want you to do this”. The British government prefers
not to interfere overtly, instead, it communicates its
desires through informal discussions. There is no paper trail or
official statement, discussions take place
behind closed doors. The relationship that these
places have with London is very much about the British establishment, people understanding each other. Anybody who is British or
knows British people knows that communication
between us is often very subtle and you have to kind of know
the codes when people say stuff. There is a lot of irony involved and a lot of codified language for British establishment. But people kind of understand how it works. And I think that is very much the case with the British relationship
with the tax havens. I think there is a lot of understanding
of what we can and can’t do without anyone having to actually spell it out. By keeping its power hidden, Britain is able to claim that these
jurisdictions are politically autonomous. Independence for Cayman is not
on the government’s agenda, that is the message that is being sent to the UN special committee
on decolonisation. Attorney Steve McField will be representing
government at the UN meeting. The committee was set up to help colonies around the world on the
road to independence, but Mr McField says
he will be making it clear that Cayman is not ready for that transition. And that message is that
the Premier, this cabinet, this party, has no mandate from the people of
the Cayman Islands to seek independence, that is the message that
I will be carrying. When the Bahamas declared
independence from Britain in 1967, the offshore bankers relocated
to the Cayman Islands and continued their business from there. It was the British connection that reassured bankers and their
clients that their money was safe. This British bedrock is what has allowed these
places to become so trusted by the financial services industry
and offshore finance and all these people. In reality much of the wealth
administered in Britain’s offshore havens is controlled from London. The City of London by and large likes to do its really dirty work
outside London. There might, heaven forbid, be a
regulator who actually takes the job seriously and starts to prosecute them
for fraud in London. So better to do the frauds offshore
in Gibraltar or Jersey where there is much less risk that a
serious prosecution will ever happen. Deals are often discussed
and concluded in London but then registered offshore, for tax,
transparency and regulatory purposes. What they allow the City to do is to
get involved in dirty business, but then when the scandal hits, to say, “Well, they are kind of independent,
there is nothing we can do about those places. That is not us, that is tax haven
activity and we are the City. We are not involved in that kind of stuff”. So it is an incredibly convenient relationship. The City of London has
shaped the way in which Jersey, Guernsey and the
British overseas territories have developed as tax havens. I see these places as
the Frankensteins created by the City of London. Today, the UK is the world’s largest provider of international financial services. The UK has an almost unique role
in global finance. If you look at the data, the kind of data that we have constructed
in the financial secrecy index, you can see the relative
shares of each country in the global provision of
financial services exports, that is financial services
to non-residents. Now, there are two big centres, and everything else is
quite small in comparison. The two large centres are the United States with around 19% of the global market, and the United Kingdom and
its offshore jurisdictions, which have around 25% of
the global market. And if you add to that other jurisdictions, ex-colonies, but recently
independent, fairly recently, by which I mean Hong Kong, Singapore,
maybe even Dubai, Bahrain and Cyprus, then you reach a figure of nearly 40%. And I think that figure represents
better the position of London in the global financial market. The soldiers left,
the administrators left all the colonies, but they still kept a significant degree
of control over the financial flows from these former parts of
Empire and the rest of the world. So you could describe it
as a second empire, Britain’s second empire, hidden financial empire
spanning large parts of the globe. At the time of the British Empire, the City of London was the
world’s largest global financial centre. Not only Britain’s colonies,
but also independent countries did their banking in London, and used the empire’s currency
for trade and financing. As the empire declined,
so too did the City of London. The establishment of the
London Euromarket enabled City of London banks
to continue to exploit their Empire era
networks and expertise, and the creation of secrecy jurisdictions gave banks access to large
amounts of cheap money. International banks from across the
globe set up branches in London and Britain’s offshore jurisdictions in order to take advantage of this new system. This system has taken the
place of the occupation. Up to 1962 for France,
I don’t know for England, but about the same time, England was physically present in
India for instance or in other colonies. And when you look at the money flows
through the tax havens, they are increasing when
we withdraw from the colonies. We are still plundering developing
countries as former colonial powers. Wealthy individuals, organised crime
and corporations shifted their wealth offshore
in exchange for secrecy and no tax. And, as countries around the world began to deregulate and
open their economies, it became ever easier to do so. Today, as much as half of
all global offshore wealth may be hidden in Britain’s
secrecy jurisdictions. One of the losers is Africa, whose flight capital flows mostly
into the modern British spider’s web. I think it is no coincidence that
Britain’s offshore empire emerged more or less at the same time
as the collapse of the formal empire. We tend to think of Africa as being a huge net debtor to the rest of the world. But that was the extent of their debts at the end of 2008: $177 billion. The debt of sub-Saharan African nations
stood at $177 billion in 2008, yet, the wealth these countries’
elites had moved offshore between 1970 and 2008 is estimated
at 944 billion dollars, over 5 times their foreign debt. $944 billion…
Do the maths. Far from being a net debtor, Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, is a net creditor to
the rest of the world. As capital moved offshore, African nations borrowed money from
international banks at high interest. Over time, these debts
became so great that they may never be repaid. Secrecy jurisdictions were
starving developing nations of their wealth and
their tax revenues. For a long time many
developing countries, including recently Ecuador, have been trying to set up a UN tax
body which is of a higher value than what is currently there,
the UN tax committee, and every time this has happened
it has been blocked. During the Financing for Development
process in Addis Ababa last year, I think it was the UK and the US
that again blocked attempts to set up this world tax organisation. Why would they not want to have
democratic decision-making in global decisions on how tax
gets collected across borders? I don’t understand this. As long as we have cross-border activity that involves both criminal
and legal activity, and we are unable
to separate the two, this is going to continue to be a problem. Western nations block attempts
to provide greater transparency of international financial flows and the implementation of
global standards for the collection of tax across borders, whilst elites in developing
nations use offshore centres to hide their wealth offshore. The oil in Gabon has not
benefited the people in Gabon. And this is true for the copper in Zambia,
for the gold in Mozambique or in Mali. They have benefited the companies
that extract it and their shareholders, it has benefited the corrupt
elite in the country. In developing countries the
offshore system of tax havens has facilitated the looting of
these countries by their elites. It has enabled them
to steal the money and keep it safe somewhere else. Illicit financial flows, because the anonymity
that drives them, creates incentives for people
in positions of power to be corrupt… This is why there is
a group of countries where development
progress is so difficult. It is that the incentives of individuals
and the ability to pursue them through all the mechanisms
that underpin illicit flows, outweigh the type of mechanisms
that lead you to a powerful, representative, effective state that
can start to deliver development. Worldwide, developing countries lose
over a trillion dollars every year in capital flight and tax evasion. Most of this wealth flows into
large western nations like the United States and Britain, and enables their currencies
to stay strong, whilst developing nations
currencies remain weak. But illicit flows into western nations also had another unexpected side effect: the economies of the United States
and Britain began to financialise. The origins of this financialisation
or de-industrialisation, go back to the 1960s. News: Anti-war demonstrators protest
US involvement in the Vietnam War, in mass marches,
rallies and demonstrations. President Johnson meanwhile,
let it be known that the FBI is closely
watching all anti-war activity. In the 1960s US Economist
Michael Hudson was working at Chase Manhattan
bank on Wall Street as Chase’s balance of
payments economist. During the 1960s, the United States
balance of payments deficit was entirely a result of
foreign military expenditures. Dollars were flowing out
of the United States as a result of the cost
of the Vietnam War.
Dollars were flowing out
of the United States as a result of the cost
of the Vietnam War. The United States
attempted to prevent the dollars flowing to Vietnam from
being deposited in foreign banks. The government asked Chase to
set up a branch in Saigon during the Vietnam War. As you can imagine it
didn’t have windows, it was sort of a fortress,
it lost money. But the government went
to Chase and said, “If you don’t get this money that is being
thrown off by the military in Vietnam, then it is going to go into French banks,
it will get to General De Gaulle, and you know
what he is going to do every month. He is going to cash it in for gold”. That is what the United States
was trying to stop. The US was not successful in
stopping the outflow of money, so it began to hatch a different plan. In 1967, Michael Hudson
was handed a memo by a former State
Department employee. In 1967 I was given, by a former
State Department employee in the elevator at Chase Manhattan, a memo from the State Department, urging that Chase Manhattan
would take the lead in helping the United States become
the Switzerland of the world, meaning for flight capital. The State Department, through
Chase, asked me to estimate, “how much money do you think
is available if America were to become the new Switzerland and
how do we do it”. The plan was to organise
offshore banking centres, in the Caribbean and elsewhere, and that the hot money wouldn’t
come directly into Chase because that wouldn’t be
nice and very legal. What happened was, the
Latin American criminals, other criminals, drug dealers,
all sorts of organised crime, would put their money into the
offshore Caribbean banks and these offshore banks would then deposit the inflow
in the head office. By moving offshore dollars
back into the United States, the US was able to stop
the outflow of dollars and support the
value of its currency. Every country looks to
its foreign exchange rate. Foreign exchange rate is
not only imports and exports, it’s capital movements. And if you look at the
International Monetary Fund’s monthly international financial statistics, you have sort of a steady
balance of trade, a steady immigrants’ remittances… What goes up and down are
called errors and omissions. What the United Nations and the IMF call errors and omissions are flight capital. The reason that it is omitted is that
they don’t really like to look at this. In the 1930s, Roy Ovid Hall, economist
for the US Commerce Department wanted to include criminal movements
in the balance of payments statistics. Congress got very upset. I was told in Washington
the argument was, “We are a Christian country we
don’t want to report crime. We don’t look at it”. They forbade him to include criminal
money in the balance of payments. I guess now you call it
errors and omissions, you don’t call it criminal
inflow and outflow. In the 1960s and ’70s, Britain was faced with a similar
dilemma as the United States: money was flowing out and this
decreased the value of the pound. Britain realised that it too could
support the value of its currency by opening its domestic market
to the trillions of dollars passing through its offshore havens. But just as in the United States,
this had an unexpected side effect. British banks today,
just as in the 19th century, don’t put their money into
British manufacturing. They put their money into
real estate speculation, into financial speculation,
foreign currency trade. So the financialisation of London has helped de-industrialise the country, because it has enabled
sterling to be supported by this huge inflow of hot money, this inflow of drug dealing money,
criminal money and tax evasion money all over the world that is
going to London instead of going to Switzerland,
Lichtenstein or the Caribbean. With the silent backing
of the United States, Britain’s offshore havens grew rapidly and before long the offshore system developed into the world’s dominant
international financial market. Few were aware how
this market functioned. In 1986 economist John Christensen
went offshore to investigate. He applied for a position
at the Jersey office of one of the world’s
major accounting firms. At Deloitte & Touche I was working in what is called
company and trust administration, straightforward offshore stuff. I went offshore specifically
to work in that area, because that is where you’re
dealing with the offshore companies, the shell companies, the offshore
trusts and you are administering them. That way I could see from working
inside a big global accounting firm, exactly what the clients were doing. I had complete access
to all the client files and over the course of my period
of working with Deloitte & Touche I investigated over 100
of their clients offshore and this is what I found. There were some insider traders,
some market rigging, some avoiding disclosure of conflicts
of interest, illicit arms trading, illicit political campaign donations,
contract kickbacks, bribery, fraudulent invoicing, trade
mispricing and tax evasion. OK? This is what the clients were doing. On the basis of a sample of
the clients that I looked at, not a single client was involved
in what I would regard as genuinely
legitimate activity, they were all involved in some
kind of tax dodging or worse. I met with Carl Levin,
he used to be an American Senator, and he made a lot of inquiries
into private banking. Asking questions to the bankers, “What do you think the percentage
is among your clients that are using these companies
for legitimate purposes?” And the answer was, “I believe that 99.9% of my clients are using these companies
for illicit purposes”. This is the reality, this is American bankers
telling what they are doing, and it is exactly the same thing with
UK bankers helping their clients to have accounts in Panama or
Bermuda or in the Cayman Islands. Secrecy jurisdictions are heavily used for fraudulent and grey-area
financial activities, areas were secrecy is not just
desirable, but a necessity. Legitimate financial activity has no need for the secrecy offshore havens provide, nor a desire to pay the high fees
offshore banks and law firms charge. Today, close to half of the
world’s secrecy jurisdictions are British dependencies. In public, these jurisdictions
claim they are transparent and their financial services sectors are engaged in legitimate
financial activities. Our economy is not based on secrecy. It’s based on transparency. It’s based on a sound
regulatory environment, It’s based on good governance
and good government, with a British government legal system, that is what our financial
institutions are based on. Tonight we have a response
from the head of Cayman Finance, after a group of US-based anti-tax
evasion activists announced plans to travel to Cayman to draw attention to
what they feel is corporate tax evasion. Finance Chairman Mr Richard Cole says
he is encouraging the group to visit and says our financial sector
has nothing to hide. I would say if anybody
wants to come to Cayman to find out what we do here, come on down,
we have no secrets here. When I went to the Cayman
Islands back in 2008,
I think it was, I called the government
spokesman and he said, “We have had an order from on high that nobody is allowed to speak
to you, you are off-limits”. In 2011 journalist Nicholas Shaxson
released “Treasure Islands”, a ground-breaking book
about the offshore system. The author of a series of
international media reports says he would welcome a debate with
Cayman finance chair Tony Travers. Mr Travers recently called Nicholas Shaxson an imbecile with the
understanding of an 11-year-old. There are always going to be
the politics of envy. Now, the politics of envy are
exacerbated by imbeciles, who don’t actually understand what
is going on in the Cayman Islands. I don’t know what he’s talking about and furthermore he doesn’t
know what he’s talking about. The Cayman Islands is the fifth
largest financial centre in the world, it hosts 80,000 registered companies, over three quarters of the
world’s hedge funds, and $1.9 trillion in deposits. It has a population of 60,000, roughly equivalent to
New York’s homeless population. A strange mixture of characters
populate the offshore world: British ex-public school boys, members of the world’s
intelligence services, global criminals, assorted lords
and ladies, and bankers galore. With so much at stake for so many
wealthy and powerful individuals, it may come as no surprise that
Britain’s offshore havens have developed their own
curious mechanisms to prevent information from leaking out. For many people who work offshore and don’t like what they are doing, it is very hard indeed to dissent, because they will be attacked personally
with a degree of viciousness which is quite extraordinary. Most of the time the instruments of
suppression are relatively sophisticated: “You won’t get promotion by doing this,
your family won’t like it”. It’s not generally, “Let’s slam them in prison”, that is far too crude. We are talking about very
substantially… you know, the establishment, the British establishment in these cases, and the mechanisms are
very, very, subtle, sort of ostracism is one way of doing it. These peculiar mechanisms, if someone tries to blow the whistle
you find all sorts of methods. You don’t just fire them, you give them
far too much work to do, you steer them in a different direction. One person who is intimately familiar
with how suppression works offshore is former Jersey Senator and
Health Minister Stuart Syvret. In 2009 he leaked a report
on a rogue nurse suspected of killing patients
at Jersey’s Hospital. Jersey News: It all came to a
head during a States debate on Tuesday, the 10th of March. Senator Stuart Syvret brought
the sitting to a standstill claiming Senator Jimmy Perchard
had sworn at him and told him to go and top himself. Senator Perchard denied the claim
saying, “I absolutely refute that”. But less than a week later he
was forced to admit he had lied. Senator Perchard has now admitted
that on another occasion he did tell Senator Stuart Syvret to go and do
everyone a favour and slit his wrists. I was arrested at my house one morning by six plainclothes police officers. There were another two specialist
data search police officers on hand and also another two police
officers in full body armour with one of those battering
rams they use in drugs raids. So 10 police officers descended
on me without a search warrant. The property was turned over
from top to bottom, all of the computers were
seized and searched, all kinds of private constituency
data was stolen by the police. Shortly after we began filming,
a police officer exited the police station. As he hurried past he
grinned at the camera. The officer was on his way to test
the sirens on his motorbike, which he did at intervals throughout
much of the remainder of the interview. When it came to prosecuting me… Stuart Syvret was prosecuted
under the Data Protection Law. When the authorities were prosecuting me, I claimed that this was a legitimate
public interest disclosure defence. And I, with an expert witness, was
able to produce a set of reports that effectively destroyed
the prosecution case. In reaction to this,
the magistrates ruled that Stuart Syvret’s defence case, that he’d leaked the report
in the public interest, would no longer be admissible, but continued to prosecute him all
the same, without a defence case. Over the past seven years Stuart Syvret
has been repeatedly taken to court, and imprisoned three times. He does not know when or if
the persecution will end, nor does he know when he will
find himself behind bars again. To look at Jersey from the outside, it looks like it has a prosecution system, it looks like it has a court and a
legislature, but none of it is real. It is a Potemkin village. None of these systems in Jersey
meet the tests of being objective or actually
functioning properly. The experience that Stuart Syvret had is perhaps at the blunter end of the scale. He was simply suppressed and taken to court on
trumped-up charges. Let’s carry on doing the interview,
they might get bored. This is kind of how oppression
happens in Jersey. All kinds of little things get
done to harass people. They don’t often go
to the extremes that they did against me in terms of actually arresting me
and putting me in prison. The authorities use all kinds of
other, lesser little methods to interfere with people,
kind of sabotage things, obstruct people, make
life difficult for people. If you annoy the establishment in
Jersey you won’t get a job here, your children won’t get decent jobs. That is kind of how it works. I went to Jersey in March 2009
with Nicholas Shaxson. About 24 hours after we
had arrived in Jersey, we were there for several days,
Nick said, “Have you noticed that we
are being followed? Ever since we arrived at the
airport we have been followed. Don’t look now but we are
being followed now”. It turns out he was quite correct,
we were being followed. And I found that very disturbing,
very disturbing indeed. They have a saying in Jersey, “If you don’t like it here, there’s
always a boat in the morning”. “Jersey Finance”
promotional literature states: “Jersey represents an extension
of the City of London”. It is where the City of London
chooses to do many of the activities which they couldn’t
do in London itself. We’re here to talk about this
one company called Appleby. I’ll just read what they say
on their website. “Members of the firm, Appleby,
have gone on not only to political office but also in a number of centres,
Bermuda, Jersey, the Isle of Man and the Cayman
Islands, to senior judicial office”. So essentially they are boasting
of the fact that their staff and their
partners have a real interchange between the people that are in
power in these offshore financial centres. The same lawyers and accountants who set up and administer
offshore trusts also occupy senior political positions. In Britain’s offshore world,
most politicians are in business, they lobby for business and
promote business interests. They draft, refine and pass legislation. Politicians sit on the boards of the
companies they are supposed to regulate. There is no place
for dirty money in Britain. Indeed there should be no
place for dirty money anywhere. The challenge I am laying down
for every country today is to root out the rot of corruption, to ensure transparency over what
your own companies are doing, and require transparency for foreign
companies in your country too, and work with us to spread this approach
to transparency around the world. In public, British politicians claim they are cracking down on
secrecy jurisdictions and corruption, but in practice they do the opposite. When I talk to politicians in Brussels, they say that they have had
more lobbyists from London, including politicians, come to them to protect the
City of London’s interests, than they have had from every other
European member state combined which gives you some idea of the
extent to which British politicians see themselves as essentially
lobbyists for the City of London. We begin with our big story, Cayman’s efforts to ensure transparency in its financial services sector
is being recognised by the international community. Earlier this week the UK’s
Prime Minister, David Cameron, told Parliament that the
tax-haven label placed on its Crown Dependencies and
Overseas Territories is unfair. Many British politicians have
personal and business ties with the City of London and
British secrecy jurisdictions. Former British Prime Minister
David Cameron’s father, Ian Cameron, was an expert in offshore funds, and was involved in offshore
trusts from the 1980s onwards. At this courthouse behind
me here in St. Helier, we found this. It is a document called a “grant of probate”, and it is attached to the English will of none other than Ian Cameron,
David Cameron’s father. Ian Cameron was certainly
a wealthy man. In 2009 his personal fortune was estimated by researchers for the Sunday
Times’ Rich list at £10 million. Yet when Ian Cameron died in 2010, his estate was much smaller
than might be expected, just £2.7 million. In many cases it is the politicians and their cronies and their families and so on, and the business people who
sponsor the political parties, who are using these offshore
services themselves. So they have no personal
interest in closing it down. If they wanted to close it down,
they could do it tomorrow. The fact of the matter is,
they don’t want to do it because they themselves are
complicit in the process. If you come from the same
kind of background and you know the right people, then all the kind of legal
niceties will often fall away. You can get away with doing
all sorts of things that they wouldn’t just let any
old person… If you came knocking on the door saying, “Can you set up an offshore
company to do this?”, they will tell you to get lost. But,
if you are part of the networks you can do these kinds of things. That is a very important part
of the whole system, this upper class, British public
school kind of establishment that has been there for centuries. The British establishment, an old
boys network of privileged elites, had carved out a lucrative niche
for themselves in the offshore world after the demise of Empire. They transformed themselves
from administrators of empire into financial handlers for the global elite and multinational corporations. As more money flowed offshore, societies around the globe began to
feel the impact of the offshore world. The reality is not what you believe, that your Prime Minister
has the power to decide on the future of your country. The power is hidden here. We have country after
country around the world, where the lack of financial
transparency about taxation, about ownership, about corruption, has undermined the extent
to which governments deliver representative policy-making
for their citizens. We have extreme cases like
the hiding of tax evasion by people in finance ministries
in Greece, in France, but we also have this system
that in general is geared towards anonymous company ownership, the anonymous ownership of
properties across London, of half of the land in Scotland. Do we really think that
there is any circumstance in which governments work better,
in which markets work better, in which the distribution of
income and assets is better, when we allow so much to be hidden? Who wants to not know who
you’re doing business with? Who wants their government to
have people working for it or to be led by people
whose assets are hidden, whose financial transactions are
conducted anonymously offshore? This is a bad direction for the world. We need the citizens to
understand what is happening, that they are the ones who
are carrying the burden and some individuals having the power are exonerating themselves. Ordinary people are paying taxes,
rich people are not. So this is inequality and it is
leading up to populism, because it shows so clearly, that the people leading
the world today are not able to take care of the
interests of ordinary people. Back in the 1960s and ’70s, tax evasion or pushing
back against taxation, it was kind of seen as
anti-establishment. So you know, the Rolling Stones and
Phil Collins, all these people kind of going offshore, going away. It was seen as kind of a
rebellious thing to do, and if you fast-forward
to the present day, now that is the establishment,
the offshore system is the establishment. Today, offshore is the way elites
and multinational corporations conduct their affairs. Tax evasion is the way
business is done. This kind of sophisticated cheating
requires a huge infrastructure. We like to talk about the
pinstriped infrastructure of highly educated people who think it is their right to
help others to cheat societies. We have a new mafia in town. It does not actually shoot people. It does not put bullets in their kneecaps. But its trade is just as deadly: it deprives people of opportunities
to have healthcare, education, security, justice and,
essentially, a fulfilling life. Accountants form the backbone
of the offshore system. They administer the structures that
allow individuals and corporations to shift their money offshore
and evade taxes. There are about 2.5 million professionally qualified
accountants on this planet. About 330,000 are in the UK. Well-known people, well dressed,
well fed, highly paid, are sitting in city centre offices and they are paid to dream up
tax avoidance schemes for individuals and for corporations. We can all elect a government
which says, “Vote for us, we will give you better healthcare,
better education, better security”, and the next day the accountant says, “Sorry folks, you elected this government but we actually have a
tax-avoidance scheme, and the Amazons and the
Googles and the Microsofts won’t be paying any
taxes in your jurisdiction. Too bad, you voted for it but you’re
going to get something else”. So it is a crazy world, that part of the business model
of big accountancy firms is how to deny public the services
by erosion of tax revenues. And these firms are then rewarded
with government-funded contracts, and the same firms are then advising local governments and
the central governments, and the same firms then report
on the company accounts and tell us all is well. When I argued this with a
Price Waterhouse partner in a face-to-face debate, he said: “Professor Sikka you never
give us credit for anything. We generate millions of
dollars of revenues and we have lots and lots of satisfied
clients. What is your problem?” And my response was very simple: “That is the language of
drug pushers and pimps”. In Britain, a new breed of civil
servant was rising to the top. One such civil servant
was Dave Hartnett, who rose to the top of HMRC,
the UK tax authority. Dave Hartnett had a new
way of collecting tax: deals would be negotiated
on an individual basis, behind closed doors. In the case of the largest clients, Dave Hartnett frequently led
the negotiations himself. British Telecom was one of the first
companies through the program and received a refund of over £1 billion. BT’s Chief Executive,
Ben Verwaayen, wrote: “Earnings per share up
14% and nice to know that we have a £1 billion
credit from the taxman”. Dave Hartnett claimed this
approach was more… efficient. Litigation in the courts is really
phenomenally expensive in this day and age all over the world, and I think it is to be
avoided where possible. The art is to persuade people to pay by strength of argument and the like. Pay your tax!
Pay your tax! After protests erupted in 2011, the Treasury Select Committee
questioned Dave Hartnett. Dave Hartnett claimed he could
not give any information due to taxpayer confidentiality. What statute prevents you from disclosing information
to Parliament? All my advice, Mr Barclay, so far
has been that I am prevented… my colleagues are prevented, by the act and by the decision
of the commissioners. Dave Hartnett failed to mention that
the legal advice he had received, stated that the disclosure of information was at the discretion of
the head of HMRC. The head of HMRC was
Dave Hartnett himself. Just like the mafia has
penetrated the state, accountancy firms have also
penetrated the state. The head of anti-avoidance
in the UK tax authority is from one of these firms. The newly appointed chairman of
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, which is a tax authority,
is a partner from KPMG. Their partners have penetrated the state. They are running the Treasury. Britain’s financial services industry
had penetrated the state, and began to shape its laws
for its own benefit. The degree of political capture by the City of London, by the big
banks and big law firms, is so enormous that the politicians have effectively
become their spokespersons. With the government unwilling to
act in the interest of the public, a group of protesters confronted Dave
Hartnett at a private event in Oxford. I’m sorry to interrupt. We will just
take a few moments of your time. We are here tonight to present
Dave with an award, the Lifetime Achievement Award for
services to corporate tax planning. Dave has been a great friend
to the industry, a great friend to many
of us over the years. Really, we just cannot thank you
enough for what you have done. From us at Vodafone, it saved us
billions off our tax bill, and our friends at Goldman Sachs as well, -saved us millions.
-25 million. Everybody, these people are
trespassers and intruders. This is an unlawful
conspiracy to trespass. And you will go, sir.
You will depart immediately, before we set the dogs on you. ♫ For he is a jolly good fellow,
for he is a jolly good fellow, ♫ and so say Goldman Sachs
and so say Goldman Sachs. Go, you are trespassing scum. Go! After his retirement, Dave Hartnett
moved to the private sector. One of his positions was at
accountancy firm Deloitte, where he advises foreign governments
on corporate taxation. Dave Hartnett is a Companion
of the Order of the Bath, an honour bestowed on him
by the British monarch. You have former ministers acting
as advisers to accountancy firms. Accountancy firms provide jobs and
consultancies for potential ministers. To my mind really, it is an indication
of corrupt structures. People are buying and selling influences. When a former minister works
for an accountancy firm, he is not providing any
accounting knowledge: he is opening political opportunities
at home and abroad, that is what they are doing. I hope by now you will share my view that I don’t trust most bankers,
I don’t trust most lawyers, I don’t trust most accounting firms. I actually think they are engaged in a
conspiracy against the public interest. In Britain, secrecy and complexity
in finance and government help to obscure corruption
in public office. Financial structures are often so complex that even after they are
publicly revealed, they are not widely recognised
for what they are. An example of this is PFI,
the Private Finance Initiative. PFI is private finance initiative. It is a way of funding
public infrastructure, things like hospitals, schools,
roads and bridges, but financing them via the private sector rather than the historical method,
which is via the central government. Over a period of 30 or 40 years
the amount of repayment costs will be three or four times higher overall, than if you had borrowed it from
the central government. So it is basically a
giant accounting scam. Once the PFI policy has been set up, you find that the big four
accountancy firms were actually paid members of staff within
the Treasury Department, who were then actually
going around and selling and advising upon the
implementation of PFI contracts by public authorities. Effectively saying, “Come to us, and we will show you how to derive
the most benefit from it”. In other words, how to perhaps
exploit the legislation. Even the offices of the state tax
authority are now owned offshore. HMRC, which is the tax
collector here in the UK, their offices are owned in Bermuda by a company called Mapley STEPS. It is quite incredible. The company that owns the PFI
contract to run HMRC’s head office borrowed money from offshore
investors at 15% interest. Because the interest was so high,
the company was losing money, therefore it did not pay tax. In 2011, HMRC could not prove
that any PFI company was paying any tax in the UK. I think we need a
serious conversation about the role of government in
this whole debacle and how much have governments
been penetrated by big banks and accountancy firms, and ultimately in whose
interest it operates. Africa PPP Conference: London 2016. The reason we were protesting outside
the Africa PPP Conference is that we wanted to make sure
that citizens back in Africa should hear about the fact
that such policies have been a complete
failure here in the UK. We know that these products are
not marketed to African countries in their own best interest. The only motivation is to spread the reach
of financial services into new markets. It is all being promoted in the
interests of the City of London. What you are seeing is basically
a second form of colonisation. You have had initially occupation
and resource extraction, and through that process
countries like Britain, which have had a large offshore empire, have developed significant networks,
and now those networks are being used to promote and
exploit financial services. The City of London was the beating
financial heart of the British Empire. As Britain’s Empire declined, the City transformed itself from a hub operating the
financial machinery of Empire into a global financial centre. Former insignificant outposts of Empire became the basis for a spider’s web
of offshore secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth
from across the globe and funnelled it to the City of London. Today, 25% of international finance
is conducted on British territory. Almost half of the world’s
secrecy jurisdictions are under British protection. Up to half of offshore wealth may be
hidden in Britain’s offshore havens. Financial services is how Britain’s
elites make their money, and it is also where former government
ministers, senior civil servants and retired spooks from MI5 and MI6 receive lucrative consulting positions
after their time in public service. Together they have transformed
Britain and its dependencies into the world’s largest tax haven, harming development
throughout the world, and turning Britain itself, into a country that serves
above all the interests of its elites. Putting an end to tax havens and
secrecy jurisdictions is not impossible. Here are five easy steps
to put and end to them: 1. Stop local councils from issuing
public contracts to companies operating out of tax havens. 2. Create public registries
of beneficial owners of companies, trusts and foundations. 3. Introduce full transparency of deals
and secret tax agreements between companies and governments. 4. Introduce public country-by-country
reporting by multinational companies. 5. Introduce automatic information
exchange between all countries.

Comments 100

  • Support more documentaries like the Spider's Web,
    One off donations through Liberapay:
    Monthly donations through Patreon:
    It takes 2 years to create a documentary of this quality!

  • This is an exceptional piece of documentary Congratulations to the crew, contributors and production team.

  • 47:24 Cayman Island 1.9trillion USD. Resident = 60,000 people ≈ New York Homeless Population

  • Fuck England!… If I were running the US in 1917 I would let the Kaiser have his way with the queen. Just think how powerful we might’ve been if we let those idiots kill their self. That was the beginning of the end for United States. We should’ve remained isolationist!


  • If a non "developed" country wants to develope its economy for its benefit, it will be stonewalling by a large financial system which decide what region will be plunder.

    To address this problem most of these "3rd world" countries decide to developed the economy without the international financial resources, but they are labeled as Comunist, dictatorship, etc. And the Financial dominion begins a war against this countries with sanctions and other evil tactics.

    As they are cornered, they decide at the end to bend down to this powerfull bankers and keep themselves as 3nd world countries. Then citizens from 1st world countries point them out an call them despectivitely rapers, thieves, ilegals, etc.

  • Just to show that those that are supposedly "honorable"..are not honorable after all but the scumbags of the world.

  • Skeleton In Alan Dershowitz's Closet:
    The Resurrection Of Sue Barlach, His First Wife

    Dershowitz's First Wife SUE BARLACH: Victim Of Tragic Domestic Abuse,
    Divorce, Stripped Of Custody Of Her Children And Her Subsequent Suicide
    By Jessie L. Leon

  • Needs to change for the sake of humanity.

  • British Empire collapsed Leaving hardly a Trace ? I live in Australia , our soldiers still swear an oath to the Queen while wearing Red coats , the Same for New Zealand and Canada , if the area of land the Queen Governs were assessed just on those three nations she is in charge of more land than Russia the worlds biggest nation , and the sun still never sets on her Empire .

  • Film Festival Skopje – Macedonia? ?
    Where was this made and by who?

  • Its a shame we stopped invading countries and killing its men and children whilst raping its women and finally draining as much resource from that country as possible.
    Ahhhh the good ole days ?

  • now you wonder why brexit is a no no

  • That piece of rock is worth shit!!!!!…………………had to steal (colonize) to exist!!!!

  • What a twisted web of lies & corrupt ppl of government & royals & the rest of them are can they sleep at night.the more they have the more they want ??

  • "In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women." -Tony Montana

  • Get rid of the eletes thats what you need to do the rothchilds for starters and the monarchy

  • Left wing rubbish. We want a low tax minmal state.

  • They tell us things that are not true, they lie to make us believe. Our Country's in a real mess and yes they do deceive. They take away our dignity it's us who feel the pain. They take away our hopes, our homes and yet they feel no shame. But looking back through history it's always been the way for the rich and the powerful to bleed us dry each and every. day.

  • London is a Cancer on the World.

  • It's not Britons, it's Britains. A different kind of animal. in fact, it's got nothing to do with a flag… the flag is a corporate logo… it has everything to do with those who inherited the program to hypnosis.

  • So glad BBC Panorama and other investigating journalists have already covered this.. oh wait.

  • What a quality documentary, even BBC is no match, please keep doing good work.

  • 이 사이트에서 가장 큰 영화 컬렉션을 보유하고 있습니다. 당신은 볼 수 있습니다

  • They didn't mention the human and trafficking … talk about enabling criminals…. for the criminal justice system….

  • Is the city of London owned by Jews?

  • Thanks!

  • Being a poor person I am jelous of the person who got a gold watch after 30 years service in a workplace.We are now reduced to being a number,wealth always trickles up and we are nothing in these people's agenda.We are nothings.

  • 1000 dislikes from bitter diners at the scum event

  • Oh wow I didn’t know I could save so much money thanks for opening my eyes to all of this 😀

  • City of London = the district of columbia in Washington D.C. The bank of England = the federal reserve. Probably same owners.

  • One question where is all the gold disappearing too!? bank of London has gathered the reserve gold from different countries .When the country won'ts to check their gold. Told can't see the whole amount! so where is it.

  • This documentary was strangely depressing for me to contemplate. I think it is mainly because it reveals yet another almost unbeatable foe that acts as yet another barrier to those who would want to see a more just and equal world, where the ideal of human decency and compassion is more than just a paper thin illusion beyond which, the rich get richer; as the world spirals deeper and deeper into an environmental catastrophe. Here we are, the leader of the most powerful country in the world doesn't even believe Climate Change is real, and those in power who do know better, don't even care. The Amazon rain forests burn while the G7 council sit around a table and wring their hands. The president of Brazil simply smiles for the camera as if all his dreams are coming true. I'm honestly ashamed of my own race, so much potential, but it really does seem like we are destined to become natures greatest mistake.


  • Trusts is from Islam the crusaders took it from the Arabs

  • Our fine new Prime minister is a very good friend and connected with a certain Crispin Odey (who he met in Eton; I believe if my memory serve me right) & inner circle; do I have to say more.

    No wonder he wants to leave the EU without a deal. Same for mister Farage; He is ready, with his slogan "I am ready" as his great many supporters are shouting in sync. I only hope that the are "ready" like Mr Farage who gets paid £30 grand (ref: private eye) a month just by stirring shit on LBC radio, he still rakes in his EU MP salary as well which he calls the "elite" and thieves who he hates with a passion. What's that great English saying again about "the kettle & the pot".

    He happily says/claims that he has no money in the bank, well he does forget to say in which bank off course or is it off shore Mr Farage ? ! I am not defending the EU, however, a person like Mr Farage probably uses the term "elite" without knowing what it represents. Only the "elite" doesn't behave like the "elite" in the meaning of the word. In French the saying goes "noblesse oblige". Only an empty the one for that I'm afraid.

    Very interesting docu by the way.


  • The documentary mentions CIA activities payed for by the city of London. I would love a documentary about those activities.

  • This is obvious joo propaganda. Depicting "poor little jooz" and "multiculturalism"

  • Brexit wont affect Britain as badly as everyone is claiming it to be, we could become the next Switzerland. Change is good everyone, the icebergs are melting!!!

  • Ephesians 6:12 King James Version (KJV)

    For we wrestle not against flesh and
    blood, but against principalities,

    against powers, against the rulers of
    the darkness of this world,

    against spiritual wickedness in high

    serco, the privy council have had a staggering effect on the USA. Unbelievable satanic corruption, right under everyone's noses. Hiding in plain sight ! The vatican is a basket case, as is Brexit opposition. Trump is the key to the transparent reformation, if there ever is one ?? Worldwide satanic cabal MUST be destroyed in it's entirety ….. SOON !

  • I always wonder why it is our government is so reluctant to legalise , regulate and tax the recreational drug industry. Clearly it is not through any great concern for our health as booze, fags, prescription drug usage, pollution and criminal mayhem continue to blight our welfare. My assumption was it was sheer stupidity aligned to a fear of upsetting the great Daily Mail reading millions who have been brainwashed into terror of reefer madness.
    Now however I see a possible real reason. Our elites are funded and protected within an old boy network criminally tied up with banking, trusts and tax havens. These trusts are powered by illegally sourced drug moneys. To legalise the industry would mean sharing the loot with everyone else! No wonder they are against it!

  • Enjoyable movie and well made

  • British Empire lasted less than a century. more than 300?, Where this figure come?.

  • The world we see and know is a totally different world to which we live in.

  • Can't mention the Rothchilds? Pussy cowardly reporting.

  • The whole world is ran by a cabal. 13 families run everything.

  • its the same insanity as who are our world leaders… Central Banking does control our political, economic and social infrastructure on all levels of humankind, and our precious planet… We the poor out number them why do WE let this continue???

  • UN should never be involved in creating methods of tax collections. This is diverting sovereignty to others. There will be no more countries. Identity will be lost.

  • Drop the word government and substitute mafia and then you can see everything quite clearly. These "people" are black holes, constantly sucking in whatever is in reach and never giving anything back and growing bigger and bigger. They aren't human.

  • They didn't shape shit. They stole everything. And queen is still on welfare.

  • BCCI and 16:35 (recognize the island?) hmmm coincidence?

  • I wish it wasnt all so complicated. For most people we just have a job and we struggle financially all our lives.

  • Accountability… Up to now, about 1000K out of about 31000K disapprove of this documentary, which gives a proportion of about 3.3%… On the other hand, out of 2 millions who have seen this documentary, about 1000K took the trouble to manifest their disapproval of it, which gives a proportion of about 0.05%… Margin of error? Somewhere in-between I can only guess…

  • The Crown is not the Queen or the British Government.

  • Very good. If you want to learn even more, download this

  • 50:44 That cop's kin must be so proud of the family douchebag.

  • Epstein's Island – Old Footage? 16:34

  • I put my 2centes in with them and get 4 back what does the government give me a big =0.

  • No mention of the Jewish role in the financial government?

  • I wonder how Brexit fit in with all of this..

  • Pirates! not spiders, spiders don't make yah walk the plank if you cross em.

  • Good Lord Above !
    The fckin German ??? MEP Eva Joly is sooooo excited she has discovered a Financial Sector which is dominated by The British.
    Since The (first) Unification of Germany in 1871, the Germans, through TWO World Wars, have been obsessed with dominating Europe !
    Even now, The Fascist Institution, The EU is German dominated ?
    NOW, this MEP so p*seed off The Germans DO NOT control /dominate this Financial Area.

    Germany, THE cancer in the body politic of Europe ?

    BREXIT cannot come SOON ENOUGH ???

    Correction: Joly is Norwegian born French MEP for The Green Party ?

  • I find that I have a better appreciation for banking

  • There is one way and one way only to stop this now because it have penetrated so deep and the French know how as the blood of the father ,mother ,sons, daughters flowed there simply is not other way why did they do they could the time to have stopped it has come in gone ..they will never stop now if dad dies the son or daughter will continue why because they can that simple good people should have stood up decades ago a bit late now its ingrained now

  • Doesn't the Queen actually own the Channel Islands herself, personally. Or have I got it wrong. Is this the real reason for the wealthy pushing and lying (they are going to sell off the NHS) about Brexit? They have to have left the EU before January 1st so the offshore transparency law won't apply to the UK. So this whole malarkey was to keep the filthy rich, very rich, not blue passports. Why isn't this information on the News and all the National Newspapers? Print it on beer mats and wake the working class up.

  • I suggest the MEP Eva Joly STARTS looking into the finances of Juncker, Donald Tusk, Michel Barnier, Guy Verhofstadt, etc Macron, Merkel etc
    BEFORE desperately trying to DESTROY anything which bears the name BRITISH or ROYAL !!!

    Germany, as a Nation has always HATED The ENGLISH – WE are a CONSTANT reminder
    The British and Commonwealth Troops DEFEATED Germany in 1918 AND
    BRITAIN and her Allies DEFEATED NAZI Germany in 1945.

    For 70+ years their sheer hatred has been simmering NOW
    they are reeking their revenge through BREXIT Negotiations ?

  • So what is the Duchy of Lancaster really. I come from there and no one who lives there knows, it certainly hasn't benefited Lancaster at all.

  • Brilliant work, exposing these corporate thieves.

  • The freemasons run the city of London. The Lord mayor is alway's a mason. Satanic secret society cabal. The web is all over the world.

  • This explains where we are with brexit. Infiltration of the parliament/government by bankers and financiers. Scum.

  • Economic Totalitarianism. Undemocratic, unfair, covert parasitic system which taxes the worst off, whilst allowing the elite to enrich themselves further. A system which manipulates information, misguiding people (namely middle England) to vote for policies that primarily serve the elite whilst using the middle classes as nothing more than highly educated secretaries to devise innovative strategies to avoid tax for greater wealth accumliation. The "elite" namely people who have superiority complex based on their ancestry along with an irrational sense of self entitlement that comes with it. They are embodiment of psychopathic and sociopathic behaviour (no ethics, no conscience, no sense right from wrong, deeply insecure) created (groomed /brainwashed) by educational institutions such Eton & Oxbridge. An example of their political manipulation to serve their own needs is Brexit. A fierce advocate of which and who is currently leading the campaign to leave is non other than Jacob Reece Mogg, who currently owns his own hedge fund "Somerset Capital Management" and who has a personal net worth of approximately £166m. How can this individual who is so out of touch with the general public be serving them as an MP? Who is he really serving, considering his links to the city and the establishment? Brexit means evading the more stringent tax transparency rules the EU wants implement, it also means the UK can go on become its own offshore tax haven, outside the remit of the EU. This particularly MP previously "served his time" working for hedge funds in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. The latter two countries being former British colonies. Both these former colonies including the city of London with its offshore (British Overseas Territories) links are all tax havens. This whole cohort of Politicians, Royals (E.g Prince Andrew and his business dealings), Bankers (Financiers, Accountants & Tax Lawyers), Senior Civil Service Servants and finally retired spooks to look after them all is nothing more than a legalised racket or corrupt "mafia", its just that under all their traditional "garb" (dress codes, secret ceremonies and titles) we fail to recognise them for who they really are, consequently they continue to get away with pulling the wool over our eyes. We're mislead to believe that nothing can change and therefore we must resign ourselves to our designated station in life (class. Ultimately these "elites" are the ones who subtly and covertly pulling the strings on all our lives, affecting our econmic and personal fate. They are in affect whats often described as "illuminati", an "impenetrable and protected" group of individuals who control the outcome of events and serve only their own existence at the expense of the rest of the citizens. They create scarcity when their could be abundance, this ultimately leads to wars (including economic) between nations. We don't have true democracy if these people control the very government whom we vote for and head its associated institutions managing them as vehicles to syphon more wealth into their own pockets. This documentary considering its limited budget has better investigated this tax evasion structure and system by highlighting the background history to its birth and evolution whilst also exposing its "players" than anything the major media networks or press have produced.

  • Wayne craeger can you put a link to the registry. It give me the name of the registry?

  • Bit hard to call yourself a financial power when you gave all your gold to the Americans.

  • days without jewish tricks = forever zero

  • When City of London sends its people, they aren't sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people who have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing tax evasion. They're bringing puppet governments. They're swindlers. And some, I assume, are good people.

  • Despite, loot, plunder, persecution through centuries of colonization it could barely saved itself by dragging US in the WWII, it still holds the treasure stolen from world over and still continues to create trouble by providing sanctuaries to the thieves of the world.

  • Is the Brits the real Jews?

  • The "music" ruined this otherwise great video. It just distracts you from hearing clearly and it's like saying " I have no faith in my work, so I'm going to spiff things up with sound." It's ashame

  • The City of London is owned by the Rothschilds. So who has the power to stop them. I worked in Bermuda and i saw how money is moved, hidden and invested without any regulations as we know them. The City of London is not part of England. The Queen has to get permission to enter that separate independently owned area of England. This goes back many centuries but the Napoleonic wars allowed the Rothschilds to own the Bank of England through their skulduggery. Then they went on to set up the Federal Reserve Bank,; the Central Banking System; the IMF, the ECB; etc.

  • Look into the catholic church using insurance companies to pay off the families of children abused by the clergy. Their claims went through Bermuda to London from their US catholic church insurance company which I cannot name here. Then the offending clergy member was moved to another diocese to continue his paedophilic abuse with total impunity.

  • For those who have not heard it yet..
    Search here on youtube
    MYRON FAGAN recording 1967
    fake news.fake wars fake taxes.
    Find out why the TITANIC really sank..2.5 hours of pact full truth bombs..a history lesson from French Revolution to Vietnam war.
    Myron Fagan 1967

  • This has been happening since the dawn of time …..a gangster elite praying on everyone else … is not going to change in the immediate , no matter what you do …….the golden rule has always been ….who has the gold makes the rules ……it is not new …it is ancient in scope , has financed most wars  throughout history . The  privately owned reserve fiat , currency system has been made central and essential to the way society operates globally , they control it , therefore they decide what you eat , how you dress , how you live ,giving you the false semblance of choice , so by de facto they own the toy set …….good luck trying to pry it out of their hands ……….it will come to an end…….. but not through our efforts

  • What a bloody cheek that that stupid cow from the fascist EU should be prattling on about tax evasion , hidden money etc. The EU is most certainly the most anti democratic, fraud ridden organization in history! Moreover, I detect a good measure of anti British bile, that the UK got there first! London is bigger than the whole of the rest of EU put together!

    May London prosper, this is why the UK must leave this new Holy Roman Empire asap, like NOW! And no money for the so called divorce!


  • Brilliant.

  • Two sets of accounts…….also known as “cooking the books”.

  • It is an open secret that the financial system is a fraud led by pschopaths but nothing happens. They get away with it whilst regulary people are being locked up for smoking pot.

  • FinalWakeUpCall >>> Era of Politicians is over BREXIT is going to happen, no matter what
    The public has become disillusioned Politically, truth is outright claptrap as Brexit is torpedoed …

  • I like the 5 steps at the end, telling us what we can do. Could you print it any smaller.

  • My comment

    The system has no heart or emotion. The powers at work do not care about mankind neither are they in a frenzy or panic about the system as their intent is man's downfall and slavery only. If they cared they would have the money printing presses up and running to bail out people!
    However much we want to understand their system we should in the first place not stand under their system! Just cut, come out and live as a freeman. Make it the end of your road on their system.

  • "Let us control the money of a nation, and we care not who makes its laws" was said to be a "maxim" of the House of Rothschilds

  • Why not? Every other country is allowing shell companies to flourish

  • The City of London is not the original name, it was Londinium, established by the Roman Empire in 43 AD. Empires never die, they merely change their mode of operation. The Roman Empire became the Papacy. It has its own city state, the Vatican. Washington DC, District of Columbia. Columbia is the personification of the Roman Goddess Venus. If you see the architecture of DC it is clearly Roman in influence. Every one if these cities has obelisk from Egypt in them. They like to downplay this, but there was also bombs planted in the obelisk they call the Washington monument in DC on 911. Someone obviously thinks that piece is significant, but maybe they changed their mind about destroying it. But that is where flight 93 was heading.
    So we are still being occupied by a foreign power 2 thousand years after they left. How is this achieved? Quite simply it is the few over the many. A roman citizen was afforded a legal status that non else where. These preserves of their power where never rescinded. Instead they were transferred to the Papacy in Rome and justified by their Religion, or transferred to the British Royal family in the case of the UK. Thus they are above the law. In USA it was transferred to people like Epstein. These privileges allow them to be above the law of the land. Thus a blueprint of their power was laid down and is maintained to this day. Maintained by fraternal Guilds, of which the freemasons are the cheap and dirty ones. They wont let the pigs into the better ones.

  • #THETRUTHSTANDSALONE??? Thanks4sharing?

  • Many guided by lying spirits

  • Ain't No secrets here on earth ,its already written by the spirit of He who IS FIRST

  • Devil likes to compartmentalize his industries

  • I finally understand why Brexit happen because the European Union wanted access the studio London Wealth

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