Treasury Committee publishes terms of reference for Global Imbalances inquiry

12 October 2011

The Treasury Committee today publishes the terms of reference for an inquiry into Global imbalances.

The Committee invites written submissions of up to 3,000 words by 24th November on the following points:

• To what extent did global imbalances cause the financial crisis?
• How far has the global economy come in redressing the imbalances that existed prior to the financial crisis?  What problems may arise if substantial global imbalances continue?
• What are the prospects for concerted international action to deal with global imbalances?  Is there a consensus on what action is needed, and to what extent is there appetite amongst policymakers from the relevant countries to address the issues?  How should international action be co-ordinated?
• Is the onus primarily on deficit countries or surplus countries to restructure their economies in order to reduce global imbalances?
• To what extent do exchange rate regimes contribute to the persistence of global imbalances?  Can global imbalances be reduced without addressing the question of exchange rates?
• Do imbalances within the eurozone need to be addressed?  If so, how could this best be achieved?  What impact will the current eurozone crisis have on global imbalances?

The Committee held a preliminary oral evidence session on this inquiry on 6 September. The transcript of this session is available on the Committee’s website.


Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format—not PDF format—and sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. The deadline is 12 noon on Thursday 24 November 2011. Submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at (PDF PDF 1.25 MB).

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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