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Basics of U.S. Economy Are Strong, Bush Says

President Bush tried to quell concerns over the recent housing slump and credit crunch Tuesday, saying "The basics in the economy are good." Two former treasury secretaries examine the state of the economy and whether the U.S. is facing a recession.

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  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Last week, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers created a stir in the financial world with an op-ed piece headlined "Wake Up To the Dangers of a Deepening Crisis." In it, he wrote, "the odds now favor a U.S. recession that slows growth significantly on a global scale."

    His view was at odds with the assessment President Bush offered at his press conference today that, quote, "the basics in the economy are good," despite the "headwind" caused by the housing price and mortgage crunch.

    Is the U.S. headed for recession, and what should be done to avert it? For that, we're joined by Larry Summers, treasury secretary in the Clinton administration from 1999 until 2001. He's now professor of economics at Harvard University. And John Snow, former treasury secretary under President Bush from 2003 until 2006, he's now chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm.

    And welcome, both of you, Misters Secretary.