I was discussing the current economic conditions with a colleague and we gathered a new insight. We both commented on how any of a number of various financial institutions had been pushing the limits of the law - yes, in some cases, clearly exceeding the law, but in many cases, getting as close to the limits as possible.
And then came the insight: my colleague and I both do the same thing, only in our case, we are pushing the laws of science to their limits. We can't break them , but we push them to the limits, let others know what we found, and then they try and go that much further. That's what R & D is all about. 
Back to the financial problems, new laws will/could/should prevent those past abuses from reoccurring, but the outfits will also start pressing the new laws as far as possible until there's trouble and the rules change again. Consider it R & D, but in the legal arena.
 We've tried, oh how we have tried, but the science police really do a good job on enforcing them.
 As Uncle Al has said, 2/3's the fun of chemistry is discovering the rules, the other half is in breaking them. Physicists, being better at math, have 16.7 basis points less fun.