Review of What’s the Matter with Delaware?: How the First State Has Favored the Rich, Powerful, and Criminal—and How It Costs Us All by Hal Weitzman

By Sean Vanatta For 36 years, Joe Biden represented Delaware in the United States Senate. Critics, uncharitably, accused him of representing MBNA, a credit card issuer based in Wilmington (acquired by Bank of America in 2005). Biden’s reputation stemmed from his defense of card issuers specifically—notably through the 2005 BankruptcyRead More

Review of Banking on Slavery: Financing Southern Expansion in the Antebellum United States by Sharon Ann Murphy

By Sean Vanatta In 2005, J.P. Morgan Chase revealed that two of its predecessor banks—legacies of earlier acquisitions and reorganizations—had been complicit in financing American slavery. Together, the banks had “accepted approximately 13,000 slaves as collateral for loans,” the bank explained, “and ended up owning approximately 1,250 of them” whenRead More