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Sep 15, 2011, 11:58 p.m.

Exclusive: U.S. tax-evasion probe turns to Israeli banks

(Reuters) - The U.S. pursuit of offshore tax evaders is widening to include Israel, where U.S. authorities are scrutinizing three of Israel's largest banks over suspicions their Swiss outposts helped American clients evade taxes, people briefed on the matter said. The banks under scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department's criminal tax division are Bank Hapoalim , Bank Leumi le-Israel BM and Mizrahi-Tefahot, the sources said.

Analysis: Oil releases a gamechanger, despite price bounce

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It might not sound like much of a victory. The United States and other oil consuming countries release emergency stocks of oil to put a lid on prices. The result: oil prices in London rise by $1 since the program began, three months ago. But many oil experts say the strategic releases -- just the third-ever by a group of consumer countries -- were a major success. Not only did they likely avert a further rise in oil prices during the peak U.S. driving season, but they set a precedent for consuming countries to keep bullish oil speculators in check.

Goldman to close Global Alpha fund after losses

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc is shuttering a well-known hedge fund that relies on computer-driven trading strategies after the portfolio rang up a hefty loss this year. Goldman told investors in the roughly $1.6 billion Global Alpha fund the news on Thursday, one day after it announced a management shake-up at the fund that had been the crown jewel of its quantitative trading business. The fund will be closed in the next few weeks.

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