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The Frustrated CFO
New York City
A career CFO who believes that writing is therapy
Interests: Writing, human behavior, books, arts
Recent Activity
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Some topics simply cannot let you be. They are just way too potent. For example, some time ago, in Part I of my Arts & Entertainment by the Numbers series, I already addressed the matter of earnings one can expect to generate if he or she decides to become a "writer." If you recall, it was established that, with a few exceptions primarily driven by seductive (literally) subjects, or notoriety (oh, I am sorry - fame) of the authors, or some magical (again, literally) mass appeal, there is not much money in writing. Of course, I didn't talk about ALL... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Frustrated CFO
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"Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples." George Burns 1896 - 1996 The Frustrated CFO's Comment: At this point, the best my generation can do is to look for humor in our situation. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Just like every other New Yorker, I have experienced the rush of LIE's giant billboard ads coming at me on the way out of and into the Midtown Tunnel on numerous occasions. You cannot really avoid the experience - there are just too many possibilities that can draw you that way: JFK, LaGuardia, US Open at Flushing Meadows, its next-door neighbors the Mets, your relatives in Queens, your suburban friends with their Near Long Island homes, and maybe even rich acquaintances with summer residences in the Hamptons. Hey, it's possible you just like sitting in traffic for hours. Whatever is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Joe Caputo (Litchfield Penitentiary's Assistant to the Warden): The fish stinks from the head. And I'm not the head! I am actually down by the gills somewhere. So, once I call the police and US Marshals; and the DOC investigators start sniffing around, it's going to look a lot worse for the 'Director of Human Activity' here at Litchfield! Danny Pearson (MCC appointed Director of Human Activity): Whoa! Caputo:(ironically) Whoa! Pearson: Whoa! Caputo: Whoa! Pearson: Whoa! Yeah... Caputo: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Yeah! Pearson: Slow down! Why do we have to involve all those people? Caputo: We have an escaped convict!!!... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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© Yana Alexandra Crow (All Rights Reserved) The funny thing is that I went to Greece precisely in the last moments of their Euro-backed temporary prosperity - in August of 2009. By the end of that year, the Greek government had no choice but to come clean and admit that they "slightly" understated their national deficit, by like... 112%. After that it all went down the hill and now we know where Greece really is - in deep shit. It's a beautiful country! Very beautiful and very proud of its history and culture, its ancient glory. Sometimes to a fault,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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A week ago I posted my comments on pseudo-economics and a couple of days later someone drew my attention to Michael LaCour's mess. That's right, I am not up to date on my bullshit news! And if some of you are not either: Michael LaCour is a political-science PhD aspirant at UCLA. Last year, he successfully pushed through academic approvals and straight into mass media his research, which "empirically proved" that voters' opinions on gay marriage could be positively shifted based on a single 20-minite conversation with an LGBT person relating his/her story. Of course, it was a fake! Not... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Before I go any further let me first declare that I don't believe in abstract economic research. I never did. Even when I was working on my PhD, I concentrated on Applied Economics, developing large-scale cost models for the industrial sector. Come to think of it, I don't believe in studies for the sake of "pure knowledge" in mathematics and the entire spectrum of natural sciences either. I think that the virtue of abstract thoughts is affordable only in Philosophy, her sister Poetry, and Fine Arts. After all, the creation of original ideas is the entire purpose of the imaginative... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Generally speaking, all benchmarking techniques can be defined as ranking of a process or a product against another process or a product with similar specific metrics of known values. Financial benchmarking in particular focuses on the comparison of the financial results with a purpose of assessing overall competitiveness and productivity. The beauty of this research tool is in its potential to uncover some underlying reasons behind the comparative results. While it's difficult (yet not impossible) to apply generic correlative methodologies to such subjective, ambiguously immeasurable, and predominantly qualitative characteristics as artistic values of cinematic products, fiscal aspects of the movie-making... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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"They are... part of a global conspiracy; a shadow organization that spans across every continent and has for the last three decades; consisting of leaders in world governments and the private sector. Some call this group the Cabal. The world you live in is the world they want you to think you live in. They start wars; create chaos; and, when it suits them, they resolve it. Cabal members will move more money in the next quarter than the World Bank will in the next year. Their alliance affects a sea of change in every aspects of human life. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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If you can stomach the naked truth about the world we live in, about your surroundings and yourself; if you are ready to actually see a clear depiction of the pile of unbearable scum that the human species has become, watch Black Mirror. Pay attention and look hard - it reflects Homo Technologiae and its self-made surroundings at its realest. And for those who don't look at the world through the pink glasses of delusional denial, what a joy to know that there is Charlie Brooker and his cohorts at Zeppotron! What a gratifying experience to realize that there are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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One of the walls in the lobby of the building where my office is located is entirely covered by multiple monitors. Together they work as one giant HD screen. This is what techies call a video wall. To the best of my knowledge its primary feed is CNBC. Most days when I leave the office I see in passing Jim Cramer still going Mad about Money. But today I had to leave a little earlier and the only money manager ever to tell the general public not to use their retirement and college funds for stock-market speculations wasn't on yet.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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A few weeks ago, this young artist I know went to a party - a sort of a mingling of, let's say (trying to be as vague as possible), people in creative fields. Afterwards, I asked her how it went and the first thing that I got back was actually a rhetorical question: "Why do people suck so bad at organizing things?" Turns out the party was arranged by a couple of guys who were "minglers" themselves and volunteered to spearhead the process; apparently, with an unsatisfactory result. I can hear some of my readers saying with all-knowing intonations, "This... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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The Frustrated CFO's Preface: "Art is dead," declares Amy Poehler's hilariously delirious Art Dealer character in Old Navy commercial. (No, I'm not quoting the Old Navy ad.) "Culture is dead," I acknowledged the other day, heart aching. "Except for TV," I got in reply. Yes, TV (and here I include all of its forms - commercial broadcast, basic and premium cable/satellite, as well as streaming media) is the last place where NEW cultural achievements of quality still occur. With their installment-based capital risks and an ability to get out of ventures at any time, television productions can afford to cater... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Judging by the number of memes related specifically to the subject of Internet arguments, the vast majority of people online, at one or another point, have gotten themselves involved into this futile and unpleasant exercise. It's understandable: Connectivity is the Internet's primary purpose - people come together in the virtual space, communicate, discuss topics (frequently controversial)... And, when was the last time you have witnessed a discussion of a controversial topic without emotions flaring up and things getting personal? Humans are acting human - what else is new? Of course, the Internet makes fighting especially intense. In absence of the... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Yes, I watched the video and I laughed at the glorious Internet headlines. Well, what can I say? To me, the really sad thing about the delirious puppets featured in the Bad Blood video is their conviction that they are real. Even sadder: because they generate 8-figure annual earnings, have some pull in their closed-off entertainment realms, and are constantly followed by TMZ - they think that they are badass, that they represent the ultimate "Girl Power." Well, the truth is they represent nothing but silliness, artifice, and utter emptiness. What are these little Girls are made of? Digitally enhanced... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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"You are right. I am remarkable... No, I didn't say I was 'amazing,' I said I was remarkable. That's precisely why I can't help you... The things that I do, the things you care about - you think that I do them because I am a good person. I do them because it hurts too much not to... It hurts - all this, everything I see, everything I hear, touch, smell; the conclusions that I may draw; the things that are revealed to me; the ugliness... My work focuses me, it helps. You say that I am using my gifts.... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Some time ago, I posted here a video quote of the Gates Foundations' family-planning message. I mean, you say "family planning" and I will acknowledge your efforts, no matter how feeble, superficial, and confusedly motivated. Yet, it's important for me to clarify that my own position on family planning is a bit stronger and much wider than those of the philanthropists behind the cute video. Essentially, the title I chose for the animated citation intended to hint on my personal focus - after all, I did use words like "Key to Economic and Social Survival." You see, the majority of... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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"Data creation is exploding. With all the selfies and useless files people refuse to delete on the Cloud - 92% of the world's data was created in the last two years alone. At the current rate, the world's data storage capiacity will be overtaken by next Spring. It will be nothing short of a catastrophe: data shortages, data rationing, data black markets... Datageddon!" Gavin Belson, founder & CEO of Hooli, Inc. (Silicon Valley, co-created by Mike Judge, episode 2.1) The Frustrated CFO's commentary: For years now, the genius that lives in my home has been responding to all innovations of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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People ask me, "How the fuck does Apple dare to price this watch at $18,000?!" Granted, most of these people are representatives of the American "contemporary middle class." This basically means that economic and social changes of the past few decades completely cut them out of the luxury goods market, its prices and its intricate marketing strategies. While their well-employed fathers could still afford to splurge a portion of year-end bonuses on nice presents for their mothers at Saks or Tiffany, these people have no need to be bothered with prices of products that carry such labels as Hermes, Chanel,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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I made my first purchase on eBay in November of 1997 - cannot claim that I jumped on its board as quickly as I did on Amazon's, but still - merely two years after the first transaction was concluded (the famously broken laser pointer). Since then, eBay has been consistently feeding three (or four) of my collecting passions. I am not a trading fiend, but over the years I've purchased nearly six hundred items and even sold a few. It was quite a challenge in the beginning: People's track records were still measly. There were no buyers' protection tools (now... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Do you know that there are people who devote their spare and even professional time to collecting mistakes and goofs made in movies, TV shows, etc.? There is a successful British website Moviemistakes.com (since 1996) whose creator has built himself an entertainment career and a money-making vehicle doing just that. Specialists officially distinguish eight classes of mistakes, including ridiculous audio problems and crew visibility. However, themost frequent ones are continuity errors (the yellow Porsche's side was smashed in the previous scene and then in the next one it's absolutely fine) and "revealing" mistakes that remind you it's not for real... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Don Draper is reading Dante's The Inferno translated by John Ciardi "Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea." John Ciardi The Frustrated CFO's comment: I am sure we can all agree that nowadays John Ciardi's remark is applicable to all branches of art and visual media. The main reason why so much of the contemporary "art" is nothing more than gimmick-ridden market-trading commodity is because its creators are blinded by their own self-importance. Oh, why this picture? Because mad men like Don Draper over there, coincidentally reading... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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It got warmer now, but for a few weeks leading up to this one it was bitterly cold in NYC, with temperatures falling into single digits and wind pushing the chill effect below zero. And I don't really know if my fellow bundled-up New Yorkers noticed them, but I saw them all the time - the girls wearing flats on their bare feet. Let's say you are walking to your office in Financial District. The iPhone displays 13 degrees air temperature and the ground, covered in snow, would likely register 5. More snow is falling from the sky. You keep... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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"Sarcasm is usually the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded." F. M. Dostoyevsky The Frustrated CFO Comment: As screwed up the world already was in the 19th century, it still retained some idealism, innocence, and purity of thought that is almost entirely destroyed in our post-post-modernist times. According to Fyodor Mikhailovich, then sarcasm was the last resort of a decent intellectual who couldn't take it anymore. Nowadays, practically everyone everywhere speak in sarcastic formulas. And maybe it is because people use sarcasm as a defense mechanism to shield... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO