Economists say the Deepwater Horizon oil spill could cost tens of billions of dollars both in cleanup and lost business revenue. Industries in the affected area are already taking hits, as fishing operations shut down and tourism slows. David Kotok, chief investment officer for money management firm Cumberland Advisors, says in the best-case scenario the cleanup will take years and the economic impact will be mostly felt in a handful of states on the Gulf of Mexico.
In the worst-case scenario, Kotok says, the cleanup could take a decade and oil may flow around Florida and up the eastern seaboard, impacting a much larger swath of businesses and local economies, putting the overall damage in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Kotok assesses the disaster and Donna Davis, an employee of Pleasure Island Properties, a property management company in Alabama, explains how the oil spill is affecting her business.