Fascinating, though rather gloomy, discussion at Editorial Intelligence this morning. The always impressive Xavier Rolet summed things up rather nicely. For him, European debt has been compensating for a lack of competitiveness and has, as a result, spiralled out of control. UK public debt is officially around the 70% mark, but this excludes public sector pay, welfare and healthcare costs etc. All-in, the debt is closer to 300%. The only option, then, is to slash inefficient spending and focus on growth. And for Xavier, growth means unlocking the potential of SMEs by reducing expensive regulation and encouraging equity investment in small companies. Unfortunately the European PE and VC sectors are nowhere near as developed as in the US, and excess regulation means a lot of Europe’s considerable stockpiles of cash are being invested in America, rather than over here. This needs to change, but at the moment not enough is being done about it.