It turns out that it may not be at all clear that prospects of change in regulations deter companies from proceeding with their initiatives. Here is how the Economist, Oct. 29, 2011 at 88, summarizes a recent article by a senior Treasury official: “She found no evidence that regulatory uncertainty is holding businesses back from hiring or investment.”
If the unsettled regulatory environment makes no difference to companies, it becomes harder to claim, without empirical support, that the same environment burdens law departments with significant and complex workloads. In the financial industry, everyone assumes, regulatory demands have soared, and perhaps in healthcare. But for large portions of U.S. industry, perhaps the desk-crushing load from governmental rule-making is less than touted (See my post of Aug. 3, 2010: Sox with 19 references and March 28, 2011: costs of regulation and value of law department with 7 references.).