AUTOS/Even though it was expected, it was still a jolt: GM declared bankruptcy this morning, the third-largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history and the biggest ever in U.S. manufacturing.

Unthinkable a decade ago, now General Motors is yet another casualty of the cratered U.S. economy, with taxpayers putting up $30 billion for a 60 percent stake in the company. The GM filing followed just hours after a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of virtually all of automaker Chrysler’s assets to a group led by Italy’s Fiat SpA.

Within minutes of the filing, the headlines were rocketing around the Web:
The Washington Post: “Filing Marks the End of Financial Independence for Industrial Icon”
The New York Times: “A Risky Bet to Save an Icon of American Capitalism”
The Drudge Report led its page with a photo of the GM logo under a U.S. flag, headlined: “Government Motors.”

It wasn’t a total blue Monday for the U.S. economy, though, as consumer spending eased and personal income rose in April, the largest increase in almost a year.

President Barack Obama, fresh from a slightly controversial “date night” in New York City over the weekend, will be talking about the automotive industry at the White House around midday, before an afternoon visit to the National Naval Medical Center. The Senate returns from recess today, with the House still out.