Billionaire Wilbur Ross says the nation's housing situation is scarier than the oil-price crunch.
"You saw those numbers that were reported yesterday, 16 percent down from the 2006 highs," Ross told CNBC. "Sixteen percent of $23 trillion means $3.8 trillion of Americans' net worth has been wiped out by that decline."
The impact on the economy, he said, is likely to be severe.
"Economists allow for the sort of 'wealth effect,' or 'poverty effect,' that's probably something like 5 percent that gets reflected in consumer spending," Ross said. "If it is, that's $180 billion, or more than 1 percent of our gross domestic product."