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Davos: Was the Mood Too Good to Be True?

Axel Weber
Source: World Economic Forum
Axel Weber

Business leaders and policymakers cautioned against complacency on Saturday amid increasing optimism that the euro zone is emerging from the crisis. (Read more: Europe Crisis Not Over, Say Policymakers)

As the World Economic Forum in Davos drew to a close, Axel Weber, Chairman of Swiss bank UBS told delegates at a CNBC-moderated debate on Saturday that significant challenges remained.

"Expectations, in particular on the role of central banks are too high. The role of central banks should not be overstated, I think some expectation management is in order here," he said.

Weber said said the mood had been good, maybe too good to be true at the annual gathering in the Swiss ski resort. "I think some expectation management is in order."

His views echoed those of Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada who said in Davos that he did not agree with a the optimism that appeared to prevail among delegates.

Li Daokui, one of China's leading economists, agreed there were still risks to a sustained global economic recovery. "I do worry about potential risks in 2013," he said. He also said the U.S. economy posed a risk, with problems being pushed back.

"In Europe we've seen some meaningful progress through promises delivered by politicians. In the U.S. my observation is that not even promises..are made. All we have seen is that the difficult problems are pushed back," Daokui said, referring to the ongoing discussions to raise the debt ceiling and last year's struggle to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

"I do worry that the scenario of July 2011 may come back in 2013," Daokui argued. "If that happens a nasty dynamic will travel through the financial markets and very negative consequences will be felt in many parts of the world." (Read more: CEOs Struggle for Survival at Davos)

Daokui placed a 30 percent chance on a possible re-visiting of the 2011 crisis.

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