For the last few decades, American equated "wealth and savings" with the equity in their homes.
For the most part, they have no other savings.
So what happens when that equity vaporizes, or worse, the equity becomes a negative number?
When the real estate market was booming, we were told it was a reflection of a healthy economy and that the real estate market fed the total economy by creating demand for all sorts of goods and labor.
Now, few on the boobtube want to contemplate what it means when this engine dies.