Finance, Markets & Economic :: Market news

Former billabong boss matthew perrin denies he wrote a confession letter

FALLEN Billabong boss Matthew Perrin has denied writing a letter confessing to forgery.

Perrin sent a text message to his father-in-law that saying he was bitterly disappointed after a sensational six-page confession letter was tendered in court in 2010.

That was pretty devastating, Perrin told the jury in his District Court trial in Brisbane today.

It was splashed all across the papers.

Perrin said he didnt know who created the letter, but knows he didnt write it, The Courier Mail reported.

The trial had heard Perrin handed his father-in-law, Lawrence Bricknell, a written and signed confession in 2009 stating he had been acting without his wifes permission and took out the mortgage without consulting her.

But Perrin denies writing the statement and claims he didnt read it before Ms Bricknell made him sign the document.

Prosecutor Glen Cash said Mr Bricknell physically recoiled in the witness box at the suggestion it had actually been his daughter who handed him the confession and Perrin himself admitted it contained business information his wife didnt know about.

(Mr Bricknells) involuntary reaction to it demonstrates better than any words he could have spoken just how ridiculous a proposition it was, Mr Cash said.

Either he is telling the truth or come next February he deserves an Oscar.

In his closing submission on Friday, Mr Cash said Perrins forgery of his wifes and brothers signatures on a $13.5 million security screamed dishonesty and Perrin had totally fabricated his version of events to deceive the jury.

Perrin is on trial in the Brisbane District Court having pleaded not guilty to fraud and forgery charges after he allegedly faked signatures on bank documents in 2008.

Perrin this week admitted in his Brisbane District Court fraud trial to regularly signing his then-wife Nicole Bricknells name on legal documents but claimed she gave him permission.

The former CEO allegedly used their luxury family house in Surfers Paradise, which was in his wifes name, as security for $13.5 million credit from the Commonwealth Bank to fund his failing business investments.

Prosecutor Glen Cash said Perrin must have spent real time and effort to mimic his wifes signature because he knew it would be checked by the bank.

Mr Cash said Perrin also forged his brother Frasers signature as a witness without his permission to give the document a veneer of authenticity.

Why would you hide that if you were acting honestly, Mr Cash said. The documents scream dishonesty.

Defence barrister Andrew Hoare said Ms Bricknell was acting out of revenge and malice to get her ex-husband jailed.

Mr Hoare told the jury they should find Ms Bricknells testimony was dishonest because evidence points to her granting express authority to Perrin. All things point to that conclusion, Mr Hoare said.

Ms Bricknell testified on Wednesday that she never, ever gave Perrin permission to sign on her behalf.

I always protected my children and I never, ever would have allowed him to sign my name on anything that was not the right thing to do, she said.

The jury is expected to begin its deliberations on Monday after Judge Julie Dick sums up the case.

Us federal reserve raises key interest rate for first time in year

THE US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by a quarter point and signalled a faster pace of increases in 2017 as the Trump administration takes over with promises to boost growth through tax cuts, spending and deregulation.

The rate increase, regarded as a virtual certainty by financial markets in the wake of a string of generally strong economic reports, raised the target federal funds rate 25 basis points to between 0.50 per cent and 0.75 per cent.

In view of realised and expected labour market conditions and inflation, the committee decided to raise the target range, the central banks policy-setting committee said in its unanimous statement after a two-day meeting.

Job gains have been solid in recent months and the unemployment rate has declined, the Fed said, noting that market-based measures of inflation compensation had moved up considerably.

More significant was a fresh batch of Fed policymaker forecasts that indicated the current once-a-year pace of rate increases will accelerate next year.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to hold a press conference shortly to elaborate on the decision.

With President-elect Donald Trump planning a simultaneous round of tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure, central bank policymakers shifted their outlook to one of slightly faster growth, lower unemployment and inflation just under the Feds two per cent target.

The Feds median outlook for rates rose to three quarter-point increases in 2017 from two as of September.

That would be followed by another three increases in both 2018 and 2019 before the rate levels off at a long-run normal three per cent.

That normal level is slightly higher from three months ago, a sign that the Fed feels the economy is still gaining traction.

The Fed continued to describe that pace as gradual, keeping policy still slightly loose and supporting some further improvement in the job market.

It sees unemployment falling to 4.5 per cent next year and remaining at that level, which is considered to be close to full employment.

US bond yields had already begun moving higher following the election and as expectations of the Fed rate increase solidified.

By the start of this week, trading in fed funds futures assigned a greater than 95 per cent likelihood to a rate hike, according to data compiled by the CME Group.

All 120 economists in a recent Reuters poll had expected a rate hike today.

Federal Reserve hikes Fed Funds Range by 25bps to 0.50% to 0.75% as expected, 3 hikes for 2017 vs 2 prev. #Fed dots are hawkish.

In the weeks following Trumps November 8 victory, Fed policymakers have said his proposals could push the economy into a higher gear in the short run. Even though the details of the Republican businessmans plans remain uncertain, Wednesdays statement marked a rare case in the post-crisis era in which the Fed moved its interest rate outlook higher.

Risks to the outlook remain roughly balanced between factors that could slow or accelerate the economy beyond what the central bank anticipates, the Fed said, no change from the November assessment.

The rate increase was the first since last December and only the second since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when the Fed cut rates to near zero and deployed other tools such as massive bond purchases to stabilise the economy.