A quick look at the Ex-Im Bank’s Competitiveness Report reveals that it is extremely focused on what other export-credit agencies (ECAs) are doing, as if economic growth and jobs are the result of hand-to-hand combat between government-run dispensaries of subsidies. But they’re not. Just take a look at the hyperactive ECA in Italy. That country is the top OECD country, by volume of exports backed by ECA financing. Yet the Italian ECA’s hyperactivity doesn’t change the fact that Italy is an economic basket case. In fact, I’ll bet you that the same economic fallacies that lead to Italy being in such a bad shape also drive the belief that government subsidies can change the balance of trade or the level of exports in ways that grow the economy.