This is how Prime Minister Patrick Manning sees the ongoing international financial crisis less than six months after he told taxpayers they need to tighten their belts as his administration undertook $5.3 billion in budgetary cutbacks because of the global economic downturn.
In doing so, however, Manning noted that even before the global economic downturn began, more than 40 per cent of those living in the region were "concerned about becoming unemployed".
"It is therefore very easy to imagine how that fear has multiplied during the last six months," Manning said.
Manning offered a more upbeat view of the international financial crisis, which is posing challenges to major economies such as the United States and smaller ones such as that of this country, during his keynote address at the joint opening ceremony of the Fifth Summit of the Americas Private Sector and Youth Fora yesterday.
"I see this, however, not only as a time of crisis, but more so as a time of tremendous opportunity," Manning said.
The event took place aboard the Caribbean Princess, one of the two cruise ships docked at the Waterfront in downtown Port of Spain serving as floating hotels for the Summit.
Manning said that while the impact of the threatening recession varies from country to country, "some of us are better equipped to respond to the challenge".
"For one country the drop in oil prices is welcome. Not in Trinidad and Tobago. For another, it represents a loss of revenue. The problem is, however, that the world has become so interdependent that no country is insulated from negative economic developments in any other part of the world," Manning said.
He made his comments as he told those representing Latin American and Caribbean business and youth organisations that their contribution to the Summit "is critical, as the world is facing waves of economic crises that are without parallel in our history".
Manning pointed out that this Summit is the first that is offering a separate forum for youth and said they "have earned that place".
"In many areas of endeavour, youth have been the pioneers, the trendsetters. In music, art, fashion, sport, you are the creators of the new," Manning said.