Lloyd’s of London, the famous insurer, this week published its “Risk Index 2013.”  It’s a biennial survey of 500 global business leaders about the risks that their businesses face.  This is a broad based survey of top executives – over half are CEOs – spread across a wide range of industries and most of the globe.  The website is good, there’s lots of data, and there are even interactive “motion charts.”  It’s worth checking out the full report, or at least the quick Key Facts.

Here’s what immediately caught my eye, though.  When asked about what they saw as the most significant risks to their businesses, these executives ranked “high taxation” number one, up from 13th two years ago.  Not only that, but “excessively strict regulation” came in fifth this year, up from 10th in 2011.

There were lots of other risk factors in this survey – 50 of them this year – but taxes and regulation came in right at the top.  Those are both things that politicians can control, so political leaders in both Raleigh and Washington should take notice.  It’s not just the John Locke Foundation that’s calling for tax and regulatory reform; businesses (employers) all over the world, want those reforms, too.