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Markets

Day Traders Confuse Retiring Baseball Player for Bank of Japan's Governor

What's in a name?

Day Traders Confuse Retiring Baseball Player for Bank of Japan's Governor

What's in a name?
Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ), looks down at his notes during a news conference at the central bank's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. Kuroda sprung another surprise on investors by adopting a negative interest-rate strategy to spur banks to lend in the face of a weakening economy.

Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ), looks down at his notes during a news conference at the central bank's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. Kuroda sprung another surprise on investors by adopting a negative interest-rate strategy to spur banks to lend in the face of a weakening economy.

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ), looks down at his notes during a news conference at the central bank's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. Kuroda sprung another surprise on investors by adopting a negative interest-rate strategy to spur banks to lend in the face of a weakening economy.
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

There was momentary alarm on Japanese social media overnight after a well-known day trader tweeted news of a press conference announcing the resignation of Kuroda. Some day traders jumped to the conclusion that Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan, was suddenly poised to step down.

Fortunately, before momentum could build in the yen it became clear that the Kuroda in question was actually Hiroki Kuroda, a pitcher for the Hiroshima Carp baseball team.

1478265005_nov 4 Kuroda

The tweet by @okasanman, who has over 77,000 followers, was prosaic enough. It simply cited an "emergency press conference on Kuroda's resignation" — without properly identifying the Kuroda in question. But it was retweeted over 150 times within half an hour by notable Twitter handles, including that of Mika Murata, a prominent day trader

Soon enough, @okasanman sought to clarify some bewildered followers with a tongue-in-cheek tweet of the baseball player in question. 

While the difference between Kuroda, the 41-year old baseball player, and Kuroda, the 72-year old central banker — who is not retiring anytime soon — quickly became clear, the development underscores the waves of misinformation flowing on social media, and the challenge for day traders surfing Twitter for market guidance.