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 ?
With the wealth of talent available, surely even the arrival of Luis Suarez at Barcelona will not stop Real from being red-hot favourites to sweep all before them, especially as Atletico Madrid have sold the family silver.
THERE have been times in the last five years when Birmingham & Solihull would have sold the family silver for a try bonus, indeed they probably did, yet these days that is not nearly enough to satisfy Eugene Martin.
She basically sold the family silver - that is, this country's assets.
No manager since Tony Mowbray has had a legacy to work with at Hibs because YOU sold the family silver to build a stand, a training ground and wipe the debt.
The Spirit (not Sons) of Shankly is not a self-appointed group - it is a properly constituted Industrial & Provident Society set up by LFC fan groups as a result of the mismanagement of the club by the Americans, who were sold the family silver by Messrs Moores and Parry.
As Harold MacMillan told them, you have sold the family silver.
They came from the four corners of the globe, but whether they had sold the family silver to get there or were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, they had one thing in common, to witness first hand one of the most famous motor races in the world.
Three previous short-head victories, including one-nils against Manchester City and Middlesbrough and a 2-1 over West Brom showed what David Moyes' team are all about since they sold the family silver and they were often content to let Marcus Bent fend for himself up front.
Greyhound racing sold the family silver long ago and has no bargaining power.
The Vickers EGM was noteworthy in several respects, not least for the emotive quality of the speeches made by investors who felt Vickers had sold the family silver, but also for the heavy-handed way the company managed the event.
Tories sold the family silver when they were last in office and the only thing left is the Post Office.
15), a race we used to know as the Bula before Cheltenham's marketing men sold the family silver.