It remains uncertain, he said, whether lower productivity growth and lower labor force participation rates are now permanent features of the U.S. economy—complicating estimates of growth, inflation, and the amount of slack in labor and product markets.
The more than $4 trillion in assets now held on the Fed's balance sheet, he said, will also make it more difficult to manage short-term interest rates. He added that he believes the Fed has developed a suite of tools, such as the interest paid on overnight bank reserves, that will be successful in maintaining a target rate.
Since the crisis, central bankers have also become more concerned with what role they should play in ensuring financial stability, an issue where Fischer has been an outspoken advocate of aggressive central bank involvement.
Read MoreRates could rise'early next year': Fed's Fisher
He said macroprudential and regulatory tools should be a country's first line of defense for financial stability—regardless of whether those measures are employed by the central bank or other agencies. The blunter tool of monetary policy—raising interest rates to slow rapid growth, for example—should be a last resort, he said.
But he acknowledged there were challenges.
If, for example, authority over some regulations rests with other agencies, the central bank may be left trying to lobby for their use. In the United States, the Fed is among the agencies represented on the Financial Stability Oversight Council, for example, but power is distributed among several agencies.