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As the Federal Reserve chews over when to raise interest rates, after holding fire Thursday, European Central Bank officials can claim some success in traveling a very different road, already blazed by the Fed, in buying up hundreds of billions of euros in bonds.

Thanks to the ECB’s own version of quantitative easing, the value of the euro is down from a year ago and bond yields are low, while bank lending is slowly recovering. All this provided a solid wall of defense against Greek contagion.

But in many ways, the eurozone is running up against the limitations of what monetary policy...

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