Gone Forecasting: Fly Fishing With Economic Pros

CNBC's Steve Liesman goes fishing with the financial pros at the annual Economic Finance Retreat at Leen's Lodge fishing village in Maine. Here's what the experts had to say about the state of the economy.

Fishing for Data

"This is a little bit of a bleak outlook. We're in a rough time. We know about the credit turmoil and the credit markets turmoil. We're arguing over whether the recession is coming, continuing, will go long or short ... No one could forecast a year ago what we see today, and what we've been through in the last year."

David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors

Small Businesses Help Job Outlook

"We haven't lost 150 to 200,000 jobs month after month like you do in a worse recession ... That's because small businesses are still trying to hold onto labor. Wage costs are under control, so they haven't gone into sort of that mode of just laying people off."

Stuart Hoffman, PNC Financial Services Group

Fishing for a Good Economic Outlook

"I actually think that oil prices are going to get back down to $100 or less. It'd be excellent for the economy — It'd actually be the best thing for the economy."

Jay Dwight, Dwight Investment Council

Econ Recon

"It's not a uniform weakness in the broad economy... There are parts of the U.S. economy that are actually doing quite well, but we do have these concentrations of weakness that make it appear as if it's a very, very deep recession."

John Silvia, Wachovia chief economist