One more point is worth mentioning or emphasizing about U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's speech about insider trading. It's the section, probably intended as a laugh line, that went like this:
Insider trading, they suggest, is not a particular scourge and is a poor pick as a priority for law enforcement. I know that no one in this room thinks that. (Perhaps that's because you all have bills to pay.)
The point that insider trading laws, and the enforcement of them, enrich lawyers, or at least allow them to pay their bills, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the whole compliance industry. There are the firms that specialize in distributing corporate press releases (one of them is owned by Warren Buffett) and the investor relations public relations firms that specialize in writing the releases and the lawyers who specialize in reviewing them and advising on their preparation. They all have a stake in keeping the system more or less as it is, or at least making sure any changes are in the direction of more rather than less complexity.
Mr. Bharara's comment also highlights the conflicted position that a lawyer is in. What's the lawyer supposed to be in favor of? A government that leaves the lawyer's client alone? Or a government that hassles the lawyer's client so that the lawyer is able to bill lots of hours and make money to discharge the lawyer's "bills to pay"? Mr. Bharara seems to be suggesting, however subtly and jokingly, that a lawyer should put the lawyer's own personal financial interest ahead of the client's interest. For the client, it's not a laughing matter.