Federal Reserve vice chairman Donald Kohn said Saturday that returning at some point to a “more normal” monetary policy stance will be “critical” to preserving price stability, but he said “it probably will be some time” before the Fed raises the federal funds rate, given the outlook for a delayed and gradual recovery.

Kohn defended the Fed’s nonconventional monetary easing measures against charges that they are “mixing monetary and fiscal policy” and that they are jeopardizing the Fed’s independence, and he contended they have been effective. For instance, he said, the Fed’s purchases of longer-term securities have succeeded in holding down longer-term interest rates.

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