A nice selection of items this weekend. You can always reach us with your questions or comments.

Martin Fackler in the New York Times takes a closer look at the Bank of Japan’s decision to end its “zero interest rate policy.”

Justin Lahart and Rafael Gerena-Morales in the Wall Street Journal on the growing evidence pointing towards an economic slowdown and possible recession.

Charles Forelle, James Bandler and Mark Maremont in the Wall Street Journal continue the paper’s series on the topic of executive options abuse. If proven true, the case of companies doling out options in the wake of September 11th is particularly egregious.

Barry Ritholtz has a strong reaction to the prior story here and here. Larry Ribstein at Ideoblog is not convinced either legally or journalistically. (via ProfessorBainbridge.com) Mark Hulbert in the New York Times highlights a study that shows that option issuance, contrary to expectations, rose after the implementation of option expense rules.

Brett Steenbarger at TraderFeed has some advice on how traders should “play defense” to ensure they stay in the game.

Mark Hulbert at WSJ.com on the what the VIX really tells us about future market returns.

In last Sunday’s linkfest we had a handful of items on the iPod. Mark Veverka in Barron’s has a positive write-up on Apple Computer (APPL).

Norm Alster in the New York Times catalogs some potential acquisition candidates in the oil patch.

Jonathan Burton at Marketwatch.com puts Bill Miller’s current slump under the microscope.

Gene Esptein at Barron’s reviews a handful of economics books including one by high yield analyst Martin Fridson who ventures into political analysis with Unwarranted Intrusions.

Dan Morse at the Washington Post examines the trend of “lifestyle farms” and the extraordinary effect it has had on Tractor Supply (TSCO).

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