WASHINGTON — For all the talk since the crisis about the need for global accounting standards, the effort to harmonize U.S. accounting rules with those abroad has never been so frayed.

U.S. participation in the one existing multicountry accounting framework, the International Financial Reporting Standards, once seemed inevitable. But recent developments, including U.S. standards-setters' reluctance to approve an international deal on loan-loss provisions, reveal just how far away universal standards are.

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