sell the family silver

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sell the family silver

To sell or part with a very valuable resource for a quick and immediate gain or advantage, rather than holding onto it for future use or to accrue even greater value. Unfortunately, the government sold the family silver during the economic crash, auctioning off some of the most valuable land in the country to private investors to help meet its debt obligations. To avoid bankruptcy, the company had to offload some of its most valuable intellectual property, but many investors worry they may have doomed themselves in the long run by selling the family silver.
See also: family, sell, silver

sell the family silver

If you accuse someone of selling the family silver, you mean that they are getting rid of something valuable in order to get a quick advantage when it would be better to keep it for an advantage in the future. He accused the government of selling the family silver by allowing foreign investors to purchase the buildings. As Maureen Freely says, from bitter experience: `Writing about these things is like selling the family silver. You can only do it once.'
See also: family, sell, silver

sell the family silver

part with a valuable resource in order to gain an immediate advantage.
In 1985 , the former British prime minister Harold Macmillan made a speech to the Tory Reform Group on the subject of privatization (the selling off of nationalized industries to private companies). He likened it to the selling of heirlooms by impoverished aristocratic families: ‘First of all the Georgian silver goes…’.
See also: family, sell, silver
References in periodicals archive ?
A downside of selling the family silver is large-scale retrenchment of workers, a circumstance which could cost a ruling party its government.
Also the council must take some responsibility in this by selling the family silver to a club who has no connection with the city or area and have wandered into this mess.
What is the point if the socalled party for Britain, the Tories, does anything but make Britain Great by selling-off all our national assets, depriving the Treasury of income, not only selling the family silver to foreign buyers but also selling the box that they came in?
What is the point if the so-called party for Britain, the Tories, does anything but make Britain Great by selling-off all our national assets, depriving the Treasury of income, not only selling the family silver to foreign buyers but also selling the box that they came in?
TURN TO PAGE 4 FROM PAGE 1 There has already been an angry reaction to the proposals from parents and Labour has accused the minority SNP administration of "selling the family silver ".
This has been on the cards ever since last week's council meeting proved just how split football was on the idea, with some seeing it as a gilt-edged opportunity to solve one of football's most expensive problems, while others likened it to selling the family silver and questioned the FA's ability to invest the windfall wisely.
But concerns about whether the FA was selling the family silver too cheaply, its ability to spend the money wisely and Khan's long-term plans for the stadium have all conspired against the sale.
Sukuk issuance thus becomes a way of selling the family silver and keeping it too.
The finance report presented to cabinet likened the sale of capital assets as 'akin to selling the family silver to only buy some more family silver, albeit better value or more useful silver'.
If the FA sells Wembley they won't be selling the family silver, they'll be selling the jewel in the crown of English football.
Former Tory PM Harold Macmillan described Thatcher's privatisations as "selling the family silver".
"Instead of boasting about selling the family silver, ministers should be explaining why time after time they get such a bad deal.
However, Paatelainen revealed he neither sought nor was offered comfort that the club wouldn't keep selling the family silver - because he believes it's inevitable if he's developing players the right way.
As a result the underclass was created, and because of privatisation (selling the family silver, as Macmillan put it) and the unfettered global economy, it now seems a permanent feature of British society.
London: The British government has agreed to sell its stake in Eurostar, the high-speed rail service that connects London with Paris and Brussels through a tunnel under the English Channel, for 757 million pounds ($1.1 billion), a move that's prompted accusations that it is selling the family silver.