Free Market Underground

Free Market Underground is Chris Butler's radio show heard every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. on KCMO Talk Radio 710.  Don't live in Kansas City?  Don't wake up on Saturdays until noon?  Not a problem.  Check out the archived shows.  You can also access charts and other reference material referred to on the radio show on this page.  Also, check out the Free Market Underground Facebook page at  Or search Facebook for @FreeMarketUnderground.





2018-04-21 The IMF & Others Who Have Concerns

In this week's episode, at the risk of sounding doomy and gloomy, we address several areas of concern for a handful of economists, analysts and the IMF. There's a lot going on right now and we endeavor to understand it all.

2018-04-14 A Report Card on the Economy

In today's show, Chris takes a brief look at how different elements of our economy grade out. The impact of tax cuts, and more, are also discussed on this week's show.

2018-04-07 Winds of Trade War

On today's episode, Chris talks about the rumblings of a trade war between China and the US, but focuses on the real danger of such a war, and it's not necessarily economic, although that would be an issue as well.

2018-03-31 Tech Stocks, The Economy & The Smart Money

In this episode, Chris talks about the political troubles facing three tech stocks and what it's done to the Nasdaq.  Also, an update on the economy is given - are we decelerating?  Finally, brief mention is made of the activities of the "smart money."

2018-03-24 Tariffs, Again, and Financial Stress

So much happened this week it was impossible to address it all. Aside from the fact that stocks had one of the worst weeks of the year, President Trump announced a tariff on Chinese goods as punishment for theft of intellectual property, the Fed raised interest rates, the Senate passed a huge spending bill, and Facebook had a rough week. We address some of those things.

2018-03-17 Kudlow, Bankruptcies, and Regulation Costs

On today's show, we talk about retail bankruptcies like Toys R Us, the appointment of Larry Kudlow to head the National Economic Council, and how regulation costs keep American businesses from being able to compete with foreign companies.

2018-03-10 Tariffs, Deficits and Jobs Gain Bigly

On this week's show, we talk more about the tariffs on steel and aluminum, what trade deficits really mean and the fantastic employment report for the month of February.

2018-03-03 Tariff Trouble for Stocks

On this week's show, we talk about the problems with President Trump's proposed steel and aluminum tariffs and the deceleration in the US economy – a potential growth rate recession.

2018-02-24 Volatility and a Market for School Safety

On today's show, we talk about opening a market for school safety, the changing student loan landscape and the two types of stock market volatility.

2018-02-17 Stocks Bounce Back & Infrastructure

In this episode we talk about debt's impact on the bond market, the stock market's violent resurgence and infrastructure spending.

2018-02-10 The Continuing Stock Market Vol-nado

This week we talk about the stock market – what else?  The whiplash is almost without precedent and fear is still quite high.  It does not look like volatility has come close to ending yet, unfortunately.  We talk about that and more on this week's show.

2018-02-03 Stocks Get Dose of Reality

On today's show, we talk about what happened to stocks this week and try to place it within a sensible context.

2018-01-27 Risk, Diversification & Business Cycles

On this week's show we talk about the necessity of diversification as a tool to protect investors.  Unfortunately, many investors are becoming more concentrated in stocks since the run-up, failing to realize that higher stock prices mean higher levels of risk.  A strong economy will eventually give way to a weak one, we just don't know when.

2018-01-20 Tax Cut Effects and the Danger of Rising Interest Rates

On this week's show, we talk about what the tax cut law's effects have been so far, the danger of rising interest rates and the overbought level of the stock market.

2018-01-13 Minimum Wage, Inflation and Stocks in Ludicrous Mode

On this week's show, we dig beyond the political headlines to find some economic talking points including pending minimum wage hikes, inflation, retail sales and consumer debt.  We also look at markets, including record overbought levels in stocks.

2018-01-06 Jobs, the Yield Curve and Euphoria

This week we talk about the December jobs report, as well as other employment indicators.  Most suggest hiring is picking up.  We also explain what the yield curve is and why so many people were talking about it last month.  We conclude by looking at the stock euphoria running through retail investors.

2017-12-30 Bitcoin, Recession and Bear Markets

This week we talk about Bitcoin, the change of economic slow-down or recession, and what might cause the next recession.

2017-12-23 Venting a Little for Christmas

In this show we look at a few recent per peeves of mine.  We look at the logic behind the complaints over the tax bill.  We look at the lack of due attention to risk.  We look at Bill Bonner's 8 axioms and we conclude by examining the environment for stocks.

2017-12-16 Bubbles, Bitcoin & Net Neutrality

On this week's show, we talk about what's necessary for a bubble to develop in anything, but we do use Bitcoin as an example.  We also talk about Net Neutrality and Marco Rubio's tax reform gambit.

2017-12-09 Jobs, Taxes & Bitcoin

The number of jobs created in November was a pleasant surprise, but wage growth remains a concern.  We are creating better jobs, but too many people on the sidelines are preventing wage pressures from building.  Then there's bitcoin.  We talk about bitcoin and blockchain, but just a little.

2017-12-02 Tax Reform

This week saw a lot of market action due to political and fiscal reasons.  It does look like tax cuts are coming and the market liked that.  Both the stock market and bitcoin are now front page stories.

2017-11-18 Markets Hit Tax Snag

Today we talk about tax-bill inspired volatility.  We also talk about a relatively good rule of thumb – junk bonds are a good canary in the coal mine for stocks.

2017-11-04 Taxes and Money Supply

In today's show, we focus almost exclusively on taxes and the October jobs report.

2017-10-28 Taxes and High Profit Margins

In this episode, we explain why high profit margins are illusionary in a sense.  It's an artifact of money supply growth.  As long as the supply of money grows, so can profit margins.  We also talk about the tax legislation proposed.

2017-10-21 Free Market Underground Episode 01

This is the first episode of the Free Market Underground, after changing the name. On this week's show We want to focus more on the diversion between illusion and reality in the economy and markets.  We also want to spend more time talking about the differences between boom and bust.