Can Mexico save the Twinkie?

Plus Twitter racists hate on PSY and how Miami's real estate bust exploded in Panama

Latitude News staff By Latitude News staff

A Mexican conglomerate might just be the iconic American snack’s best hope. (Reuters)

In today’s interconnected world, news doesn’t stop at the border. What happens in the rest of the world makes a difference to our lives in the U.S., and vice versa. Latitude News brings you a round-up of stories from around the country that drive that point home.

  • Our favorite snack could find a new home south of the border. Univision News reports that the Mexican bread company Grupo Bimbo might put in a bid to buy Hostess, maker of America’s iconic  sugary treat, the Twinkie. Bimbo put in a low-ball bid for the bankrupt dessert giant a few years ago, but was rebuffed. Now that Hostess has declared bankruptcy — largely due to high tariffs on sugar and the elevated cost of manufacturing in America — the Mexican company might have another chance to save the Twinkie. Sugar and labor cost less in Mexico, and Bimbo already owns parts of Sara Lee, Entenmann’s and Thomas English Muffins. As Univision points out, “‘Twinkito’ does have a nice ring to it,” doesn’t it?

 

  • It seems like after every public event involving a racial minority we get a story about pinheads posting racist nonsense on Twitter. This week the Korean rapper PSY (he of the infamous hit “Gangnam Style“) performed at the American Music Awards and, of course, was the object of racist blowback on Twitter. According to an article on Nikkei View, PSY’s “horsey-cowboy dance moves” didn’t go over well with some after he closed out the AMA’s with MC Hammer. One typical tweet read: ““I’m pretty sure this is called the American Music Awards #gobacktoAsia.” Many of the tweeters appeared to be teenagers. But 20 years after race riots in Los Angeles led tensions between Korean and African-Americans to an all-time high, the piece concludes, we can take some solace in seeing a black and Korean performer share the stage at the AMA’s.

 

  • In the heady years before the Great Recession, a fancy new condo seemed to go up in Miami every day. 1,200 miles south in Panama, the Miami Herald reports, a similar dynamic was underway, led in part by American real estate agents and buyers. Prices kept rising, but when the U.S. housing market collapsed, so did the one in Panama. “At the beginning we saw Panama as the next Miami,’’ said one Miami broker who also worked in Panama City, “but Panama wasn’t ready for the boom.” One major difference: unlike financial institutions in America, banks in Panama demanded 50 to 60 percent down payments on many projects, preventing contagion of the real estate market from spreading into the banking sector. American banks didn’t have the smarts to protect themselves like that before the crash, although it’s standard practice now.