hold the sack

hold the sack

To bear the responsibility or burden of dealing with or suffering the consequences of an undesirable situation, especially due to a lack of accountability from others. Because the bank was considered too large to fail, the government was left holding the sack when its value plummeted during the economic crash. Unfortunately, small businesses are going to be the ones holding the sack if this agriculture bill is passed.
See also: hold, sack

hold the sack

bear an unwelcome responsibility. North American
See also: hold, sack
References in classic literature ?
Many a holder of a second mortgage has been left to hold the sack. You must remember that the first mortgage comes in for the first claim after taxes, and if the foreclosure doesn't bring enough to satisfy more than that, the second mortgage is sleeping on its rights."
2 : to succeed in doing : accomplish what is desired <Stanley still managed to hold the sack of jars in his left hand as he slowly moved up .
Yer da'll hoy the coals in", (You hold the sack and your dad will shovel the coals in) says one of his father's friends whom the young Gary was visiting in Cramlington.