Summers predicts high unemployment for men of a certain age

Summers also thought a stimulus bill containing untested initiatives is not needed if Congress extends current programs aimed at helping the jobless. 

"Do we need to extend unemployment insurance? Yes. Do we need to continue to provide support for state and local governments to maintain and prevent large-scale layoffs of teachers? Yes," he said, adding: "Is this the moment for some major new experiment in Keynesian pump-priming? Absolutely, no."

Summers also said the financial reform bill created by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will go a long way in stopping the next financial crisis. 

"The Dodd bill would very substantially reduce the factors that came together to produce the crisis," he said. "If you ask, are we ever going to pass some law that will abolish the business cycle, or it's going to make financial accidents impossible, the answer is no."