Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Netflix Series
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Dirty Money is a documentary series which exposes corporate corruption around the world. The 6 episodes range from a light-hearted look at a scandal involving the Canadian Maple Syrup Federation to the shocking account of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a drug company who hiked the price of one life-saving drug to almost $300,000 a year. Dirty Money does a fantastic job of informing and entertaining whilst calling out the worst excesses of predatory capitalism.

Critic Matt Zoller Seitz called Dirty Money “the most fun you can have while being pissed off.” I can't top that statement, so let's go with that! The six-part series will have you raging at the naked greed displayed by many of the world's biggest corporations.

The first episode in the Netflix docu-series (Hard NOx) Dirty Money, tackles the recent VW emissions scandal (dieselgate). It seemed Volkswagen had pull-off the technically impossible when it launched a range of clean diesel cars.

The emission tests on the vehicles were delivering spectacular results. Consumers flocked to VW showrooms to purchase well-built, environmentally friendly German vehicles.

In reality, VW engineers had used a ‘Defeat Device' to enable their cars to pass strict US emissions tests. In 2017, a US federal judge ordered Volkswagen “to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine for rigging diesel-powered vehicles to cheat on government emissions tests.”.

Another Dirty Money episode centers around HSBC bank and its alleged links to the Mexican drug cartels. The final instalment (The Confidence Man) looks at the origins of Donald Trump's wealth and tracks his rise from New York property developer to US President. (Also check out Fahrenheit 11/9 for more on the topic.)

The subject matter in the docu-series if often complex, but the show does a great job of explaining how these scams work, through the use of interviews, infographics, and narration.

If you enjoyed films like ‘The Big Short' or have a general interest in business or finance then you'll find this docu-series from Netflix thoroughly engaging.


  • Jaw Dropping
  • Insightful


  • Can Be Hard To Follow


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