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Safety Net for Crops Means $14 Billion Tab for Taxpayers

Former American International Group Inc. chief Maurice “Hank” Greenberg has a new business partner: the U.S. taxpayer.

Greenberg’s Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. is one of 18 companies approved to get federal cash for insuring farmers against loss of crops or income. Wells Fargo & Co., the nation’s fourth-largest bank by assets, Zurich-based Ace Ltd. and units of American Financial Group Inc., Deere & Co. and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. all enjoy similar public backing.