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Play now 25 mins

Episode 2

Duration:
25 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 24 January 2012

As protests around the world now regularly remind us, the gap between the super-rich and the rest of us has been growing sharply.

Whether in developed nations such as Britain and America, or newly-emerging powers such as China, Brazil and South Africa, statistics show an increasing share of income and wealth to be held by an ever-narrower elite.

Michael Robinson examines this global phenomenon through its effects on London - one of the world’s most-international cities and a magnet for many of the wealthiest people.

As the rich have got richer, there have been many London beneficiaries.

While in most of Britain, property prices have been falling, the owners of prime London property have seen the value of their homes soar as the new elite spends billions buying themselves homes in the city.

And, while most of Britain struggles to survive in the economic downturn, the professional advisers, top restaurants, and sellers of luxury goods serving the new super-class, have been enjoying a bonanza.

But, as the wealth gap has gone on widening, plenty of Londoners see themselves as losers, increasingly excluded from the basics of life: a good job, an affordable place to live, and a chance to make their own way in the world.

Are they right to blame the super-rich for their plight?

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