Sean H. Vanatta
Sean studies the development of American capitalism, with a particular interest in financial intermediation, federalism, and regulatory policy. He received an MA in history from the University of Georgia, where he also received a BBA in marketing and BA in history. Since being at Princeton he has TA-ed for courses in the history of American capitalism and contemporary US history, and he is currently a fellow at the University's McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.
His dissertation, "Making Credit Convenient: The Political Economy of Bank Credit Cards in Postwar America," explores the development and growth of the bank credit card industry in the United States from the 1950s through the 1980s. It shows, first, how banks partnered with the state(s) to build the legal and regulatory foundations necessary for the credit-card market to function. Then, it demonstrates how banks used mobile credit cards to undermine the nation's geographically structured bank-regulatory regime. Along the way, it tracks broadly the social, cultural, economic, and political implications of Americans' embrace of unsecured consumer credit within the increasingly unsettled political economy.