BBC Radio 4
Over the last quarter of a century, the world of global finance has provided unprecedented opportunities to get rich. Last year, in London alone over £2.6bn was paid in bonuses, with thousands of individuals taking home £1m or more as their annual reward. With critics claiming this excess is in part to blame for the recent financial crisis, governments around the world are now threatening to enforce restraint on executive pay.
Alvin Hall explores the events which created this bonus bonanza and asks how salaries came to reach such stratospheric levels? Speaking to City insiders, he reveals how the square mile transformed from gentleman's club to a meritocratic market of greed, where the appetite for more and more money gripped those working in it. Bankers and brokers tell of the tactics employed to up their pay, as companies fought for the top talent from across the globe … but were they really worth it?