Biz briefs

Aiken Stein Mart will close doors in summer

A 3-year-old Stein Mart clothing store in Aiken will close this summer.

A going-out-of-business sale will begin in May, said company spokeswoman Susan Edelman. The store in Hitchcock Plaza on Silver Bluff Road will close in "late summer," she said, once the liquidation has concluded.

The store opened in 2006. Jacksonville, Fla.-based Stein Mart is closing more than 10 underperforming stores this year, Ms. Edelman said.

A typical Stein Mart employs 45 people, she said. The company has 276 stores across the country, including one in Augusta.

Fannie Mae CEO named bank bailout overseer

WASHINGTON --- The White House turned to an experienced former investment banker Friday to run the federal government's $700 billion bank rescue effort, selecting the head of mortgage giant Fannie Mae as an assistant treasury secretary.

Herbert Allison Jr., Fannie Mae's president and CEO, will replace Neel Kashkari, a holdover from the Bush administration.

Mr. Allison, who must be confirmed by the Senate, would bear the title of assistant treasury secretary for financial stability and counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

He would be in charge of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the fund that has injected billions into banks in hopes of unclogging credit. He would inherit a program that has been sharply criticized in Congress and which banks have come to view warily because of restrictions attached to receipt of its funds.

Since taking over in September at Fannie Mae, where he took no salary, Mr. Allison, the son of an FBI agent, developed a reputation for open-mindedness with consumer advocates, even those who have had an a contentious relationship with the company.

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