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.





After a little over 10 years and 500+ shows we’ve decided to change the way we deliver content and our unique voice regarding markets and investments. We have decided to discontinue production of the Free Market Underground radio show but intend to continue our relationship with 710 KCMO. We will continue to deliver market and wealth planning content to its listeners. If you’ve enjoyed listening over the years you will still hear us providing content over the radio, just in a different format.

For the past 10 years we have been educators through our weekly radio show. We commented on structure of financial markets and pointed out the risks as we see them. Now, we will continue educating as we focus on how investors can participate within these markets while maintaining a risk conscious outlook. We think you’ll enjoy our new focus on delivering education through classes and workshops as well as reading our opinion on markets and investment opportunities. To receive our monthly updates- send us an email with your email address. We look forward to possibly meeting in the future!

**Contact us at**

2018-12-01 Fed, GM & Corporate Debt

This week's episode features analysis of Fed head Jerome Powell's speech that sent stocks to the moon, the problems at GM and the troubling features of corporate America's obsession with debt finance.


2018-11-24 Money Supply & Stocks

On this week's show, Chris underscores the importance of the growth in money supply. It explains a lot of the carnage in stocks this week, but there are also other issues at play. He gets into those as well.


2018-11-17 Amazon, Deceleration & Santa Claus Rallies

On today's show, Chris talks about the differing views of the decision of Amazon to split HQ2 between NY and northern VA. Also, we talk about how we can tell the economy is probably just fine and then we discuss the idea of a "Santa Claus Rally."


2018-11-10 A Ten Thousand Foot View of Where We Are

On this week's show, given the volatility of the past several weeks, we spend some time trying to understand the boom bust cycle, and then try to put current events into that context.


2018-11-03 Jobs, Tariffs, Stocks & Bernie

On this week's show, Chris talks about the Employment Situation report, which was so good it was bad. It means higher interest rate. He also talks about trade, Bernie and the stock market's continued wild ride.


2018-10-27 Stocks, Income & Jane Williams

On this week's show we talk about the stock market and the argument that capitalism creates large gaps in income among individuals. We also talk to eldercare and estate planning attorney Jane Williams about changes to the rules governing veterans benefits.


2018-10-19 Sears, Hyper Loop, Inflation & Interest Rates

On this week's show, Chris talks about the Sears bankruptcy, the proposed Hyper Loop between Kansas City and St. Louis, the role CPI inflation plays in the business cycle and the reaction of stocks to interest rates rising this week. The link to the referenced article is here.


2018-10-13 Stock Market Plunge & China& Banking Crises

On this week's show, Chris talks mainly about the causes of the recent plunge in stocks and how that relates to the economy. He also talks about the role the Chinese economy plays in this.

2018-10-06 Jobs, Trade & Interest Rates & Banking Crises

On this week's show, we talk about the new Employment Situation report and the overall state of the economy. We also talk about why the rise in interest rates are upsetting stocks.

2018-09-29 Capitalism, Rising Interest Rates & Banking Crises

On today's show, we talk about quite a bit. We get into the Fed's interest rate hike, their impact on consumers and the economy and we also get into the theory of capitalism.

2018-09-22 Tariffs, IRAs & Socialism

On today's show, Chris talks about the new trade salvos as well as who it is, exactly, that pays a tariff. He also talks about a strategy for those over 71 who still work. He concludes with a discussion about the differing types of socialism.

2018-09-15 Hurricanes, Lehman & Definition of Risk

On today's show Chris talks about how to gauge the impact of the hurricane by watching certain stocks, what the bankruptcy of Lehman wrought, and just how meaningless Wall St.'s definition of risk truly is.

2018-09-08 Wages Grow, Rates Respond & James Grant

On today's show we review the impressive August Employment Situation report, particularly wage growth. We also take a look at the investment wisdom of James Grant.

2018-09-01 New Technology & the Fed's Bubbles

On this week's show, Chris talks about how the trade deals leads to a discussion about inadvertently bringing new technologies forward. The discussion then turns to the real problem the Fed presents to the Trump presidency.

2018-08-25 Turkey, Impeachment & Ignoring Risk

On this week's show, we talk about the contagion risk emanating from Turkey, the possibility of a market "crash" is the president is impeached and we conclude by noting the eschewing of safe-haven assets by speculators.

2018-08-18 Turkey, Wal-Mart & Deceleration

On this week's show, Chris talks about why the markets are scared of Turkey, of all countries. He also talks about what Wal-Mart's recent success means. Finally, we talk about what the business cycle indicators are saying and the model for giving the odds of recession.

2018-08-11 Turkish Lira & US Economic Deceleration

On this week's show, Chris talks about how the Turkish Lira can send global equity markets "turmoiling." Also, and more importantly, he talks about the US economy decelerating and what it means for asset classes.

2018-08-04 Jobs, Medicare for All & Long Leading Indicators

On this week's show, we talk about the July Employment Situation report, long leading indicators, and the $32 trillion price tag on Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-All plan.

2018-07-28 Tariffs, GDP, the Dollar & Gold

We cover a lot on today's show. We talk about tariffs and how difficult it will be to avoid pain given the rise in the dollar. Our first look at Q2 GDP shows a strong economy and something happened in the gold market that's sure to excite contrarians.

2018-07-21 What's Needed for Economic Growth

On this week's show, Chris talks about a number of issues that the market had to digest this week including comments made by President Trump on both Chinese tariffs and the Fed's monetary policy. We close by talking about how economies grow. One ingredient stands above all others.

2018-07-14 NATO, Tariffs & Spontaneous Order

On this week's show, Chris talks about a week that packed about a month's worth of headlines into a few days. There was the NATO story; Germany's energy alliance with Russia; and a new round of tariffs that shocked no human being – but algos couldn't believe their text-readers. And then there's Hayek, Spontaneous Order and the liberty movement's Kansas City ties. Don't forget to register for KCMO's News, Politics and Money Event at the link to the right. Pete Mundo, Austin Petersen and Chris Butler will all be in attendance.

2018-07-07 The Seven Headwinds

On this week's show, Chris talks about the seven headwinds, or risks, to the economy and the stock market. But these are merely risks. We should be aware of them, but none are absolutely and deterministically destined to occur. Still, one must be aware.

2018-06-30 Trade Trial Balloons, Harleys & the Dollar

We're all over the place this week. We talk about the China-tech-investment trial balloon that turned into a lead zeppelin, the Harley-Davidson decision to transfer production to Europe, the economic risks we need to keep an eye on and the effects of a strong dollar.

2018-06-23 Trade Stuff and the End of Global Economic Synchronization

On today's show, Chris talks about new developments in trade, the strength of the US Dollar and gold paying attention more to global growth than interest rates and the dollar.

2018-06-16 Weekly Tariff Update, Gold and Monetary Tightening

On this week's show, Chris talks about the never-ending tariff story. But he also puts recent attempts at monetary tightening by the Fed in historical context. Finally, the subject of foreign central banks buying American gold is discussed.

2018-06-09 Social Security and Medicare Approaching Insolvency

We actually talk about a lot on today's show. We talk about jobs, the G7 meeting, tariffs, the smart money flow index and, of course, about this week's announcement that Medicare was going to be insolvent in 2026 vs. the 2029 date we were told last year.

2018-06-02 Jobs, Italy & Money Flow

This week, we talk about the very good employment numbers that came out Friday morning and get into why Italy's political machinations affect US markets. We also discuss what "money flow" is telling us about stocks. Finally, what would be the sense in not having to talk about tariffs? So, we do that too.

2018-05-26 Bernie's Amazon Tweet and Profits

On this week's show, we scrutinize Bernie Sanders' disdain for Jeff Bezos and mainly by articulating what we've known for 100 years – profits make society richer by creating value.

2018-05-19 Plunder and the Fed's Gutting of Our Capital Base

On today's show, Chris & Martell talk about how the Royal Wedding is more entertaining than the Royals baseball team, then Chris talks about Frederic Bastiat's "The Law," plunder, and the reason why our economy grew so anemically after the recession. More importantly, what that means for stocks.

2018-05-12 Iran, Bernie Sanders & Corporate Debt

On this week’s show we talk about what pulling out of the Iran deal has done to oil prices and what's likely to happen to gasoline prices. We also talk about Bernie Sanders plan to hand out jobs and we conclude by talking about the scary levels of corporate debt, which is not to ignore the deteriorating quality of it.

2018-05-05 April Jobs and Rising Chances of a Debt Crisis

On today's episode, we talk about the latest jobs numbers that saw the unemployment rate drop to extremely low levels but disappointed a little in other areas. We also talk about a research report capturing a lot of attention this week dealing with the rising probabilities of a US debt crisis due to the twin deficits of trade and budget.

2018-04-28 Global Trade & a Tired Stock Market

On this week's show, we pay close attention to the relationship between debt at all levels and the terrible curse that is the reserve currency status of the US dollar.

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.