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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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This morning, as soon as I entered Citibank's online trade-finance services, the following message jumped into my face: Notice on Greek payments Please be aware that Capital Controls have been introduced in Greece, as a result international transfers from Greek bank accounts to bank accounts outside Greece will not be processed until further notice. Domestic electronic payments are expected to be processed, but are dependent on the local market factors and beneficiaries' banks. Securities settlements are suspended. Apparently "Capital Controls," accepted by the Greek government as one of the German government's bailout conditions, means freezing pretty much everyone's bank accounts... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Frustrated CFO
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In the TV business, summer traditionally has been considered an off-season. Primarily because the broadcast networks' prime series go on a 4-month hiatus after completing their 20+ episode seasons. Nowadays, of course, it's not all that relevant for TV viewers, because... Well, for multiple reasons, really, but to name a few: First of all, if you prefer edgier premium cable series, your TV viewing patterns are driven by 2-3 month seasons scheduled at different times throughout the year: Shameless airs January through March, Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley - April -June, Masters of Sex - July-September, Homeland - October-December,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Frustrated CFO
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On Saturday, August 22nd, internationally famous British street artist and social rebel Banksy declared his latest project Dismaland open to the public. I've noticed that many commentators rushed to label the large-scale art installation dystopian, but I tend to disagree. Dystopia is an imaginary place where everything is scary and bad. But Banksy's mini "park" in Weston-super-Mare (UK) is an artistic re-imagining of a fairy-tale theme park in the harsh light of our miserable reality. From what I've seen, instead of saying, "Imagine if everything was horrible," the site screams, "Take off your pink glasses and see the horrors around... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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Three weeks ago, my 81-year-old father had to go to a hospital for angioplasty. Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of my parents, but the tearful monster of the inevitable guilt demanded my dutiful attendance there. Aside from keeping company with someone who is forced to be in a scary medical place, where everyone's job is to cause you pain and discomfort for the sake of possible betterment, my presence there was actually useful in multiple ways. As sharp as my Dad still is and as good as the hospital staff turned out to be, the situation does... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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"She had always known that in making certain choices one committed oneself to a sequence of actions - which inevitably meant a switch from being master of one's fate to being its slave - but she had hoped that she could decide when to make that switch, instead of having it forced upon her." Paul Griner Collectors: A Novel Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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The book I am reading right now is written from inside of its female protagonist's head. Not in a floody stream-of-consciousness sort of way and not in a first-person POV either, but rather something in the middle - a third-person narrative that's interested only in what this woman sees and how exactly she feels about it. Everything and everybody else is sketchy. She is an interesting woman, though - an ad exec with a disturbing past and an uncertain future, severely unhappy and alone, and I am fascinated by the nuanced way the book's author (a man) depicts her impulses,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2015 at The Frustrated CFO
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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 Jul 28, 2015 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