Sean Vanatta on Credit Cards


Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel, talks with historian and standup comedian, Sean Vanatta, lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow and senior fellow at the Wharton Initiative for Financial Policy and Regulation, about Vanatta’s cool new book, Plastic Capitalism: Banks, Credit Cards, and the End of Financial Control (Yale UP, 2024). Plastic Capitalism examines the fascinating history of the rise of the credit card business in the United States, uncovering a complex picture that includes banks, consumers, and federal and state governments. It involves complex interplays of movement and countermovement, ending in the relative dissolution of regulatory power. Vinsel also talks with Vanatta about his current and future projects.

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Lee Vinsel

Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.

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