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Global CEOs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Consider the Road to Recovery

CEOs at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, voted conclusively today that regulators, multilateral institutions and governments have key roles to play in getting out of the current financial crisis.

The debate, hosted by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo titled No Way Back,asked a panel of leading global experts to debate the challenges for the road to economic recovery. Four advocates set out a vision of how a given institution needs to respond to the changed economic environment:

· National Regulators
Duncan Neiderauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext said, ”My proposal is rather than spend the next two years, which I don't believe we have, creating new reams regulation, we should try and apply existing regulation which we know work. If we believe that transparent and regulated markets work then let’s see, to put these products under the domain of the regulated exchanges. Central clearing and transparent reporting - very very important.

71% of the CEO’s in the audience voted conclusively with Niederauer.

· Business
On the role of business, 70% of delegates disagreed with Steve Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO The Blackstone Group.

During the debate Schwarzman commented, “Nationalisation? Bad idea; not a good idea. Financial systems can only take so much stress before they break. Fixations on transparency are great in principle. We have enormous transparency and we have a financial world in collapse. That's not a good situation and we have to use regulators to schedule out losses congruent with accounting so it makes sense for the survival of the system.”

· Governments
Dr. Montek Sing Ahluwalia, India’s chief financial planning architect discussed the role of governments, which resulted in 89% of delegates voting that they have a key role to play.

Howard Lutnick, CEO, Cantor Fitzgerald who sat on the panel commented, “The corporate world is deleveraging and it’s being pushed out by government leveraging. If you look at it the banks can't borrow now so who will put the money in - it's governments around the world.”

Laura Tyson, Professor, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley commented, “The government is coming in because the private system is closed down. Governments can borrow, banks cannot. The reason they can't borrow is because nobody trusts them. Why should they trust them?”

Noureil Roubini, Chairiman of Roubini Global Economics who attended the debate, commented, “We have the biggest leverage problem in human history. You have houses that put zero down payments their leverage is infinite. It's just a ponzi economy.”

· Multilateral Institutions
The Hon. Trevor Manuel, Finance Minister, South Africa was strongly supported by delegates who agreed 83% with his proposal on the role of multilateral institutions.

Manual commented, “We have institutions sitting across the globe that were designed for an entirely different era and this impact on the representation - the US still has a veto and impacts on the rules of multilateral institutions and it impacts on the reach.”

Other participants in the debate were:
· Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP
· Jim Turley, Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young.

Front row participants included: Yassar el Manowali (EFG-Hermes), Vineet Nayar (HCL Technologies) and Angel Gurria, Secretary General, OECD.

The No Way Back debate will air in a special one hour programme on 30th January 2009 at 23.00 CET. The programme will also air on CNBC in the US at 20.00 EST and in Asia on 31 January at 21.00 HK/SING.

CNBC has extensive coverage at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Forum, with live interviews and analysis on-air, online and with special programming. Visit davos.cnbc.com to watch video interviews, read additional exclusive news stories and blogs from reporters on the ground. This year, the site will also feature CEO guest bloggers and video bloggers including the CEOs from Alcatel-Lucent, Infosys and Nasdaq OMX.

CNBC is a World Economic Forum Industry Partner.

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