PAST LIFE RETURNER - Chapter 400
The scene unfolding in front of Jonathan Investment Finance Group’s headquarters was reminiscent of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement that took place eleven years ago. We agreed with the media’s assertion that the protest seemed to signal a resurgence of the movement.
At that time, the protest had spread worldwide. In the aftermath of the 2008 subprime crisis, many people criticized us as the Jonathan and Gillian Investment Finance Group were monopolizing the financial industry at the time.
However, no one had led the protest back then. Instead, it resembled a flashmob. The decline was only a matter of time, and it ended up fading away and being forgotten.
“Is there someone behind this?”
I asked that first because Jonathan’s eyes were filled with tension.
He began to show me pictures. The first photograph was a young man who seemed to be a college student, carrying a backpack as if he intended to eat and sleep there. The picket he was holding said…
「I support Jonathan Investment Finance Group. However, they shouldn’t take everything.」
This one-man protest was the spark that caused the formation of the protestors in front of the New York headquarters. Then, Jonathan swiped to the picture of people gathering in support of him.
There was a specific part that Jonathan was wary about. He stopped flipping through the pictures and stopped at the last one. It was a picture of a small group of young college students talking to an elderly man.
“He is a professor who works as an academic advisor at ATTAC. His name is Clayton.”
Jonathan implied that he would have removed him immediately if he was in the Stage of Advent.
ATTAC sounded like the name of a boss monster, but in the global society, their significance was only at the level of minor monsters. Their actual name was Association for a Taxation of Financial Transactions in Assistance to the Citizens. Although they were originally founded in France, they could not be considered one of the leading organizations of the antiglobalization movement.
Nonetheless, there was a reason why I said they were insignificant. Although they had presented various models of civil movements, their voices had been consistently ignored.
The antiglobalization activists had been stuck in their own world just like that. The problem now was that they were in an environment favorable for them to cause trouble. If I were an ordinary person, then I would have no choice but to listen to their voices.
The assets of Jonathan and Gillian Investment Finance Group alone accounted for 42.6 percent of the total global market capitalization. In USD, that was $ 19,132,512,000,000, which was approximately twenty trillion dollars. It was two quadrillion won in Korean currency.
The public wasn’t stupid. They knew that this figure was only limited to stocks just by glancing at it. Even they could easily say that the wealth was being unfairly distributed throughout the world.
As could be seen in the pictures, the current number of protestors was small, around sixty people. However, it was clear that once the wind blew, their numbers would grow enough to fill the entire Wall Street. On top of that, if they organized leadership…
If they focused on one or two specific goals instead of making a fuss about multiple issues, then the public’s voice wouldn’t fade away like they did in the past.
I said as I pointed at the professor in the picture, “He seems to be volunteering to be the leader. He must have learned something from the past, and that is probably why he came faster than anyone else.”
Jonathan replied, suppressing his anger, “Yes, he is gathering his colleagues. Activists from ATTAC will step up as leaders after removing their political stances.”
He lingered on the professor in the picture similar to how Doom Entegasto gazed at me.
He said, “You get it, right? This protest will spread soon, Sun.”
Despite his attempts to suppress the media’s movement, they began reporting on us. Prior to the U.S. President joining our club, we had been constantly criticizing the media and dismissing them as “fake news,” leaving them in a tight spot. However, they had now reached their limit and could no longer ignore the issues that were being discussed and debated on the Internet.
Clayton was facing a famous documentary director at a cafe on Wall Street. The camera was set up in a position where it could capture the side profiles of the two of them and the scenery outside the window. Through the window, the crowd that had previously numbered fewer than one hundred had now grown to more than that. The people waving their picket signs towards the camera were also spotted.
The so-called ‘top 0.1 percent,’ consisting of the super-rich, have been controlling two-thirds of the world’s entire GDP. However, since the Stage of Advent, the gap between the super-rich has widened significantly, and within the 0.1% of the super-rich, a 0.0001% class has been formed. Today, a group of protestors have gathered in front of the headquarters of Jonathan Investment Finance Group. I am here with one of the protestors to talk about their goals.
The director finished preparing for the shoot after thinking of the narration for the clip. The professor and director had just exchanged brief greetings.
The professor said, “The gap between the super-rich and the general public is large, but the gap between the super-rich and the small number of financial rulers is even larger. In fact, calling them ‘rulers’ is not a stretch.”
The director was confident that Clayton’s opinion matched the intended direction of the documentary clip. He suddenly thought of a caption to add to the film.
Were the new absolute monarchs born on the Day of Advent?
“Imagine a world where people’s heights are determined by their wealth. Then, I’d be looking up at you, Director.”
The director didn’t disagree with Clayton’s analogy.
“But don’t forget. This is Wall Street. Let’s say that you go out onto the street. The first things you notice are giants striding along, meters tall. They are Wall Street’s managers. They are so tall that everyone’s eyes are fixed on them. Then, when you notice a commotion at your feet and look down, you finally discover dwarves like me bustling about.”
The director nodded, amused by the thought.
“There are people so tiny that we can’t even see them with naked eyes on the street as well. Let’s say you turn your head at a loud noise. It is so loud that you would have thought mountains were moving, but it is a giant, towering more than two miles high.”
The director interjected, “The super-rich.”
Clayton nodded. “That’s right. You have no choice but to flee from the possibility of being crushed by its foot. But then you wondered why the world is always ‘night.’ You then remember legends of a ‘sun’ that used to rise and light up the day. So you ask the giants, ‘Can you see the sun up there?’”
“Can they see the sun up there?” asked the director.
“Haha, yes. Like that. Your question was delivered through the mouths of giants. From small giants to medium, to big giants, then to mountainous giants.”
Clayton continued while shaking his head.
“But you receive an answer that none of the giants in the world can see the sun. That’s when you reach a conclusion. Could there be a king of giants, so massive that his shadow alone covers the entire world? And at the same time, you tremble in fear. If such a colossal giant exists, the mere act of lifting his foot could be directly connected to countless fates. A single step could split a country.”
The director waited for the professor to continue.
“Although it is just a hypothetical world that you just made, the reality is not much different.”
Clayton pointed to the protestors outside the window, and the director’s gaze followed.
“Those people gathered there have the same fear as you did in the story. Do they appear as rebels who defy the system? No. They are ordinary people who have realized that their fate, along with the entire nation, is being determined by the biggest giant.”
“You mean Jonathan and Gillian Investment Finance Group.”
“There is one more. John Doe.”
The director thought he would have to change the motto. He planned to make a one-minute short animation about the story the professor had told him about and named the nation ‘Titan.’ He also thought about the king of that country.
Do you know the King of Titan, John Doe?
Yes, this is it.
A satisfied smile bloomed over the director’s face. The interview continued.
“We must have one voice. There are many issues, but we need to focus on matters that can cover as many issues as possible.”
“And you think that the key to resolving this is John Doe, right?”
“His wealth not only exceeds that of Jonathan Hunter, but the fact that he has never made a public appearance also leads me to believe that he may be at the helm of the financial elite. In addition, the fact that his identity is still veiled, means that he wields lawless financial power more than Jonathan Hunter.”
The director sent a signal to the cameraman as he finished the interview. He meant to zoom in on the professor’s picket sign, which was leaning against the table.
「It is not Jonathan Hunter. Why is the government so eager to hide John Doe’s identity?」
The camera didn’t even miss the back of Professor Clayton as he picked up the picket sign and walked out into the street.
Jonathan boarded the association’s private jet stationed at Gunsan Airport after sending Seon-Hu to outer space. It was time for him to return to New York.
The situation on Wall Street, where the number of protestors was growing, was constantly being updated on his phone through messages. The increasing number of protestors and their slogans becoming more unified into one voice made him uneasy.
John Doe. John Doe. John Doe!
He was frowning.
Bad things were emanating from Wall Street and spreading outward. There was no need to cause a military uproar. The contagious disease would be crushed by the flames of the ‘Descent of the King of Hell.’ It was worse as it occurred during wartime.
However, burning them with force would be a violation of the order Seon-Hu had kept.
Jonathan muttered as he recalled Seon-Hu recently leaving for outer space.
“No matter what kind of dirt is thrown at us, I will deal with it myself.”
As he could tell how the protest would end, he was ready for it.
1. A phenomenon where groups of people come together in a public space to perform a seemingly spontaneous and coordinated action, often for entertainment or social purposes. ☜