After Indonesia was crushed in the Asian financial crisis - its economy shrank 13 percent in 1998 - the battered rupiah helped it start to export its way back to growth.
Now, Southeast Asia's biggest economy is growing at its slowest pace in five years, 5 percent, and the currency recently tumbled to its weakest since 1998.
The rupiah's 9.3 percent slide against the dollar since June should help Indonesian manufacturers who export clothes, shoes and other products cut prices and win orders.
But it isn't working that way, due to Indonesia's rising wage costs and other factors. Problems with infrastructure and bureaucracy have added to pessimism that factories can lift exports and give Indonesia a boost it needs as the coal and commodity boom which fueled growth for years is history.