But as debts began to pile up around the world, it became clear to policymakers that managing that debt required money that got a little less valuable over time, say 2%, to allow debtors to pay interest in cheaper currency and employers to placate workers with "cost of living" raises.
This delayed the reckoning on the old debt but at the cost of soaring new debt, as pretty much everyone figured out that it's smart to borrow depreciating currency.
In the decade since the trough of the Great Recession, nearly every sector of every major economy took on historically unprecedented amounts of new debt. And now the old "optimal" inflation rate of 2% isn't enough to make interest payable for a growing number of borrowers.
The solution? Higher inflation of course. The old 2% target was arbitrary to in any event. And as with so many other things in life, if a little was good, a little more must be better, right?
So the question becomes how to phrase the transition to faster currency depreciation in a way that shapes the behavior of buyers, sellers, borrowers and lenders in the best possible way.