If you thought being middle-class meant your own home, something set aside for the kids and a comfortable retirement - think again. For the first time ever, today's middle classes will struggle to enjoy the same privileges of security and comfort that their grandparents did. How did this situation come about? What can be done about it? In this beautifully shaped inquiry, David Boyle questions why the middle classes are diminishing and how their status, independence and values are being eroded. From Thatcher's boost of the mortgage market in 1980 to the move from regional to centralised institutions; from the collapse of Barings Bank to the 1986 Big Bang, 'Broke' examines the key moments in recent history that threatened the middle-class way of life. What he discovers is that the triumphs of the middle classes have been just as influential in their undoing as their disasters.