Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday delivered a broad defense of the central bank's controversial bond-buying stimulus plan, saying its actions are necessary to support a flagging economic recovery.

Bernanke pushed back against the accusations that the Fed's policy is laying the groundwork for inflation in the future or enabling the government to run large budget deficits. He said that while the country's unusually weak economic performance had forced the Fed to resort to less conventional tools after bringing interest rates all the way down to effectively zero, the Fed's goals of price stability and maximum
sustainable employment have not changed.