The foreclosure crisis that devastated the economy in 2009 and 2010 was a many-headed monster, a disaster unlike anything the federal government had ever seen.

And it's becoming clear that not only did the government have no idea how to handle it, but every fix it tried didn't work. It was an epic failure, and federal regulators jumped on the opportunity to sweep it under the rug this month with an $8.5 billion settlement with 10 banks.