IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How Far Can U.S. Equity Prices Fall Under Asset and Debt Deflation


  • P. Arestis
  • E. Karakitsos


Equity prices have been falling since March 2000. How far can they fall before they reach bottom? The current bear market differs from the mid-1970s plunge in equity prices in terms of the causes and, consequently, the factors that should be monitored to test its progress. In the 1970s, the bear market was caused by soaring inflation resulting from a surge in the price of oil. It eroded households' real disposable income and corporate profits. That was a supply-led business cycle. Now, the bear market is caused by asset and debt deflation triggered by the burst of the "new economy" bubble. This working paper argues that on current economic fundamentals, the Standard & Poor's (S&P) index is fairly valued at 871, but the fair value may fall if the economy has a double-dip recession that triggers a property market crash. We suggest that the U.S. economy is heading for such a recession, as the poor prospects of the corporate sector are affecting the real disposable income of the personal sector. The forces that drive the economy back to recession are related to imbalances in the corporate and personal sectors that have started infecting the balance sheet of the commercial banks. The final stage of the asset-and-debt-deflation process involves a spiral between banks and the nonbank private sector (personal and corporate). Banks cut lending to the nonbank private sector, creating a credit crunch that worsens the economic health of the latter, which is reflected subsequently as a further deterioration of banks' balance sheets.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Arestis & E. Karakitsos, 2003. "How Far Can U.S. Equity Prices Fall Under Asset and Debt Deflation," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_368, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_368

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Philip Arestis & Elias Karakitsos, 2003. "The Conditions for Sustainable U.S. Recovery: The Role of Investment," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_378, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Philip Arestis & Elias Karakitsos, 2003. "How Long Can the U.S. Consumers Carry the economy on Their Shoulders?," General Economics and Teaching 0306003, EconWPA.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_368. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elizabeth Dunn). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.