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#129 – Jacob Schiff

#129 – Jacob Schiff published on No Comments on #129 – Jacob Schiff

Jacob Schiff, along with H. B. Caflin, Marcellus Hartley, Robert L. Cutting, and Joseph Seligman, he was a founder of the Continental Bank of New York in August 1870. 1

In 1885, Schiff became head of Kuhn, Loeb & Company. Besides financing such Eastern railroads as the Pennsylvania and the Louisville & Nashville, he took part in the reorganization of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1896-1899, and at various time aided the American Smelting & Refining Company, the Westinghouse Electric Company, and the Western Union Telegraph Company.

What is Schiff’s most famous financial action was during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Schiff met Takahashi Korekiyo, deputy governor of the Bank of Japan, in Paris 1904. He subsequently extended loans to the Empire of Japan in the amount of $200M through Kuhn Loeb & Co. Schiff made this loan partly because he believed that gold was not as important as national effort and desire in winning a war, and due to the apparent underdog status of Japan at the Time. It is quite likely, as well, that Schiff saw this loan as a means of answering, on behalf of the Jewish people, the anti-Semitic actions of the Russian Empire.

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