NAPA, Calif. - Craig Hudson, executive director of the California Independent Bankers, maintains that his state's economy is not as bad as some make it out to be.

"I'd like to dispel the notion - and I think there's a commonly held belief out there - that the California economy is in a long-term decline," Mr. Hudson told bankers assembled at the group's annual presidents' retreat at the Silverado Resort and Country Club here in the heart of wine country.

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