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Consumers switch to off-brand goods; An apology from Goldman Sachs; New charge added to checked-baggage fee; “Cash for clunkers” starts July 1; Many employers nix matching contributions

Consumers switch to off-brand goodsSince the recession began, in late 2007, U.S. consumers have been switching from national brands such as Tropicana and Crest to off-brand discount goods. In 2008, the typical national brand lost a third of its most loyal customers. Financial Times

An apology from Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs apologized last week for participating in the “market euphoria” that triggered the financial crisis. Its participation included underwriting $29.3 billion in securities backed by subprime mortgages in 2006, 7 percent of the entire subprime market.Inside Mortgage Finance

New charge added to checked-baggage feeUS Airways and United Airlines have piled on yet another fee, charging passengers an additional $5 if they pay the $15 checked-baggage fee at the check-in counter. Passengers can avoid the charge by paying the fee online.Associated Press

“Cash for clunkers” starts July 1Starting July 1, consumers who replace beat-up old gas guzzlers with fuel-efficient new vehicles can qualify for federal rebates of up to $4,500. Trade-ins eligible for the “cash for clunkers” payments must get 18 mpg or less.CNNmoney.com

Many employers nix matching contributionsAlmost one-quarter of U.S. employers that offer 401(k) plans have eliminated matching contributions. Eighty-seven percent of employees say that their employers’ matching contributions are the plans’ most important feature.CFO.com

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