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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Mario Draghi's penultimate policy meeting as European Central Bank president was a bit like watching a past-his-prime boxer struggling through the late rounds of a fight. "Dovish" Draghi still has the moves, but it's obvious the game has passed him by and a new era has begun.

Driving the news: Draghi, whose term is set to expire at the end of October, not only cut the ECB's already negative deposit rate to -0.5%, he also announced additional stimulus of 20 billion euros a month to continue indefinitely and lowered the central bank's inflation and growth forecasts.

What they're saying: "Lower rates and QE are unlikely to have much effect on the eurozone economy. Draghi knows that," Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FXStreet, tells Axios in an email. "By placing the onus for inaction on governments he distracts (as much as possible) from the probable failure of the ECB stimulus."

The big picture: Draghi's "whatever it takes" mantra has been credited with saving the eurozone, Europe and the euro currency, as the central bank has taken unprecedented steps to bring the economy back to life during his 8 years as its head.

  • However, it has been largely unsuccessful in generating inflation and allowing eurozone economies to stand on their own.
  • Draghi effectively admitted as much on Thursday, calling for politicians to take the reins and administer fiscal stimulus to help prop up their respective economies.
  • But he still pushed forward with exceptional measures, reportedly in the face of unprecedented dissent from the influential central bank governors of Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Estonia, among others.

Be smart: "Central banks are loath to ever admit to reaching the limits of monetary policy, but that is more or less where we think the ECB is," Deutsche Bank chief U.K. economist Mark Wall and senior U.K. economist Peter Sidorov said in a note to clients.

Where it stands: Draghi also tried to placate the heads of Europe's consumer banks by instituting a tiered deposit system that would spare some banks from having to pay the central bank to park their reserves.

The bottom line: The measures will provide some relief for the banking system, Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist for the Schwab Center for Financial Research, tells Axios.

The big question: Will it actually be a sustainable solution for the underlying problems?

  • "Oh, no," Jones says, with a hearty laugh. "The problem is demand and how to stimulate demand in a world of aging populations, demographic challenges, a China slowdown, trade wars, all those things that really monetary policy can’t solve. They can only address what they can address."

Go deeper: The ECB likes inflation now

Go deeper

8 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

Senate Democrats unveil new income tax for billionaires

Sen. Ron Wyden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a billionaires' tax proposal, designed to help support President Biden's social spending and climate change legislation.

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Billionaires Income Tax would raise "hundreds of billions of dollars" and would affect approximately 700 taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of over $100 million a year.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.