Over at Marginal Revolution, they bring up a paper on US indebtedness and shirking that debt by having the Fed increase the inflation rate by 5% (from the ~3% now to ~8% in a year). Basically, they say this would transfer $$$ from the people who held our debt (foreigners) to us (yay!), because our salaries would get adjusted up by 5%, while the loan rates wouldn't (ka-Ching!).

But, the underlying requirement is multiple years of increased inflation, i.e. for at least the average duration of the loans. But this presents a problem, because at the first sign of substantial inflation, debt-holders would rush to the currency/derivatives markets and transfer their inflation risk to others.

The hard thing about this conjecture is trying to put numbers on it. I think you could do it, if you had rough ideas about who holds the debt now, and how much of a derivatives/risk management team they have. Essentially, inflation risk should be priced into the exchange rate for the US dollar versus the foreigners currency. So the foreigners would simply hedge their dollar to whatever currency flows, the losers on those trades would be unhedged US importers (not Walmart), people like you and me who buy foreign goods that now cost more, and speculators who took the wrong side.