The ongoing protests in Hong Kong may be all about democracy, but dig a little deeper and the demographics reveal a bigger 'haves and have nots' issue bubbling just under the surface - an issue being replicated all over the world.

Globally, people are being priced out of the housing market. According to the consultancy firm, McKinsey, a shortage of affordable housing means 1.6bn people have to make tough choices between where they live and basics like food, education and healthcare.

It would cost $11tn to replace and build appropriate affordable housing, leading McKinsey to suggest governments should do more to sell off land at below-market prices.

That would probably make sense in a place like Hong Kong. But instead, parcels of land are sold off to the highest bidders - mostly well-connected property empires. So where does that leave everyone else?

This week, Adrian Brown reports for Counting the Cost on what some governments do to combat all this. We also discuss wider property issues with Rob Tincknell, the CEO of the Battersea Power Station Development Company.

Is Russia nearing an economic crisis?

In Russia, the oligarch stripped of his liberty and multi-billion dollar oil company by President Vladimir Putin, believes the country is nearing an economic crisis that could lead to an uprising.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky fell foul of Putin when he began meddling in politics. In the end, he spent a decade in prison after being found guilty of tax evasion.

Patricia Sabga from Al Jazeera America sat down with Khodorkovsy, and asked him whether - given all that has transpired in Ukraine - he thinks the West has underestimated President Putin.

Art in the Gulf

Finally this week, a bit of art: A few months back we featured a story about Qatar's wealth of art investments. As a follow-up about how much ongoing interest there is in art in the Gulf, we attended a Sotheby's contemporary art auction in the region.

And the prices, like the art, were quite impressive. The whole auction achieved over $8m in sales, which was at the upper end of expectations, with record prices for 13 different artists.

Counting the Cost 's Kamahl Santamaria met Sotheby's Middle East director, Lina Lazaar.

Source: Al Jazeera