From the U-T:

Larry Summers, one-time director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, believes the economy is recovering, albeit not as fast in some areas as desired, but enough to forestall a double dip.

“There is no longer any talk of a depression,” he told journalists at a Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seminar in Cambridge, Mass., over the weekend. “Now, there’s very little talk of a double dip.”

He pointed out that the economy has grown for seven straight quarters and the unemployment rate has fallen.

“The stock market has had the best two-year run since the beginning of the 20th century,” he said.  He also said corporate profits are best in any two-year period since World War II.

But he acknowledged things are not improving fast enough.

“To be sure, we have a huge concern that the recovery is not nearly as rapid as we would like,” he said. “The housing sector remains extraordinarily weak. The nation’s long-term debt situation is not where it should be. There have been major steps in financial regulation but we can’t be certain we will avoid another financial crisis.

“But the catastrophe that could have been averted has been averted , and I think it has been averted with a combination of the right diagnosis, determined effort to act on that diagnosis, a good deal of luck and an important change in psychology.”

Summers, who served in the administration from 2009 until early this year, returned to Harvard as president emeritus. He was Treasury secretary under former President Bill Clinton and chief economist of the World Bank.

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