Publicly held companies are one of the main ways the "little guy" can save for retirement or his kids' college. They help ordinary people to participate in the capital side of the economy. One of Thomas Piketty's points (whether you agree or not) was that great amounts of income are accruing to capital these days. The situation would be far worse if regular folks could invest only in government bonds.
On the general topic of regulation for publicly traded US companies, I will further add that there is strong evidence it should be reduced. If you look at the growth in the overall market valuation over the last few decades, you will see that much of that growth has come from new entries into the market, like Facebook, and relatively little has come from subsequent value increases (though Facebook itself has increased). That is to say, it shows large segments of privately-held capital are responsible for most of the growth in valuation during the time these firms are held by VCs and pre-IPO (or pre-private equity).
We need MORE ways for the general public to participate in economic growth, not fewer. A scandalous Enron here or there is not worth making IPOs so onerous that everyone avoids them as much as possible, which is kind of the current situation.
Here's an analogy: if you have worked for a giant firm or big university you have probably found many of its procedures or business process sclerotic. How did it get that way? Well, every time something went wrong, somebody asked the question "How can we prevent this problem from ever occurring again?" They then went ahead with the prevention methods without regard to the corresponding cost in organizational flexibility.