Will you sell the family silver or kill the golden gooseMost of you might be familiar with the idiom 'killing the goose that lays the golden egg". 'Sell the family silver' is also an idiom to mean somewhat similarly, but not exactly. I came across the idiom today used in a blog post. The idiom means selling precious family assets for temporary financial needs. It is not a good idea to fritter away some permanent wealth just to tide over temporary difficulties as rebuilding the assets may not be possible again.
In the book 'An Alternative Philosophy of Development: From Economism to Human Well-being' by Birendra Prasad Mathur (Google Books) it is noted "Selling the shares of profitable PSUs is tantamount to selling the family silver to pay for grocer's bill and killing the goose that lays the golden egg".
Does it not sound ironic that Vijay Mallya used this idiom in October 2012? When asked if he was going to sell some of his other business to fund Kingfisher Airlines, he reportedly said: "But that has not meant that I have had to sell my family silver to fund the airline." Makes us think had he sold his family silver then, probably Kingfisher would be flying now also.