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Bunhill: Flexible mandarins

THE poor sods at the Treasury should have been warned when their superiors issued a Mission Statement. As usual, this was designed to provide philosophical justification for sacking almost everybody - except the bosses.

But there's good news for mandarins who are prepared to be 'flexible'. In that case, according to City head-hunter Tim Stephenson of Stephenson Cobbold, you could be 'very marketable'.

But if you have not learnt to bend over backwards then 'you may be useful for one project but not thereafter'. This could mean privatisation for, apparently, there is still plenty of mileage in the P word: 'Someone with a Treasury background can be very useful indeed for banks trying to win accounts.'

But the best long-term prospect is in international economic advice, needed by any organisation that depends on economic or currency trends.

Journalists, who are on the receiving end of a ton of econotosh a day, will be surprised to learn that 'there's still a dearth of really topflight professional economists in the City'. It adds: 'Some of the best come from the Treasury - there's one who's still there whom I would employ overnight.'

In fact the lucky ones could bless the axe, if only because their earnings could double. Some of these 'seriously good' economists are earning a pittance, a mere pounds 30,000 to pounds 45,000 a year. But they will 'have to accept that intellectual arrogance won't wash, and they will find people who are at least as intelligent as them'.