"At moderate levels, debt improves welfare and can enhance growth. But high levels can be damaging. When does the level of debt go from good to bad?... beyond a certain level, debt is bad for growth. ...The immediate implication is that countries with high debt must act quickly and decisively to address their fiscal problems. ...Up to a point, corporate and household debt can be good for growth. But when corporate debt goes beyond 90% of GDP, our results suggest that it becomes a drag on growth. And for household debt, we report a threshold around 85% of GDP, although the impact is very imprecisely estimated.".Parts of the abstract of "The real effects of debt", from the Bank for International Settlements, BIS. Full document pdf HERE. Look at Table 1, page 6: one country is WAY way out from the crowd in terms of changes in household, corporate and government debt as a percentage of nominal GDP between 2000 and 2010. The balls and brownstuff is smothered over the bed and the UK has to lie in it. Also, we may soon know more of the reasons why: Darling on the "brutal and volcanic" Brownstuff.
Update: and obviously the UK isn't the only one that will be 'changing the sheets'; Ruth Lea on the EU's woes.