The concept of six degrees of separation suggests that each of us is only six links away from every other person on Earth. Jacob Henry Schiff, one of America’s premier bankers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, is a prime example. He was not only linked to virtually every banker and political leader around the globe during his lifetime, but for generations afterwards. The financial dynasty he created left its imprint on American commerce, but his actions altered the course of history. For instance, Schiff was an observant Jew, not overly orthodox, who opposed Russia’s czarist regime because of its violent pogroms and restrictive anti-Jewish legislation. Following the adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,? Schiff went to the aid of Japan in its war against Russia in 1904, floating a $196 million bond issue in the U.S. and hundreds of millions more internationally to provide Japan with the means to carry on. The victorious Japanese were so thankful, Japan’s emperor personally awarded the Order of the Rising Sun to Schiff in 1906, the first foreigner so honored. And Japan’s leading banker sent his daughter to live with the Schiffs for three years while she studied in America.