The Second Malaise Era IS Upon Us!S

Yesterday's question of the day may have asked it, but what was initially an academic question has now been conclusively answered for us. We're not sure which it was — maybe it was the Civic catapulting over the Ford F-150 to the top of the sales food chain. Maybe it was the industry reports we've been reading this morning in response to last month's dire sales numbers. We mean, Lehman's hailing the moves:

"GM's announcement on Tuesday move forward the mgmt agenda (fewer trucks, more cars at a higher price) that they identified as needed to respond to the consumer shifts caused by late 70s-like gas-price shock environment firm expects. With the more mechanical capacity actions behind it, GM will now need to deliver on both volume and pricing enhancement in cars - a more difficult challenge given the strong position of transplant brands. The capacity actions and car plans are broadly in line with firm's assumptions published last week, and they are maintaining their $19.50 tgt and 2010 EPS of $3.11"

Maybe it's just the fog this morning. Whatever it is, it's happened. The second malaise era is upon us, ready to cover us with a suffocatingly bland blanket of crap. And you know it's true when the investment banks are absolutely loving a decision to eschew big, beefy trucks for cheap-to-sell econoboxes that sip gas with economical efficiency. We're half expecting Bush to hit the airwaves later today in Bahama shorts and a polo to ask 'mericans to turn down their air conditioners. Perish the thought. (Hat tip to Kevin!)