The answer is actually surprisingly simple--be rich to start out with. An article on Salon.com yesterday, provides the outline.
Remember MFGlobal? That's the big trading firm who went belly up a few months ago after supposedly making a real lot of really really bad bets on the value of foreign currencies. When the piper came to the door to be paid on these bad bets, MFGlobal didn't have enough money to pay their pals at other big financial firms, so they took it from their customer accounts--$1.6 BILLION worth of money that belonged to someone else. Most of this money, the bankruptcy trustee says, will never be recovered. Jon Corzine, former Goldman Sachs fat cat and Democratic party fat cat, was boss man there at the time.
Neither Corzine nor anyone else from MFGlobal is in jail, or has been charged with any crime, even though it is "illegal" to use segregated client funds except as directed by the client. You know how they're thwarting the supposed efforts of prosecutors to hold someone accountable. They said they didn't mean to. Yep. That's their story. You can't make this up. It was apparently an "accident" that they took money out of customer accounts--those dang accounts, always slipping in there and tossing money onto your computer screens when you least expect it!
Now, it seems, MFGlobal executives are going to get BONUSES for being so clever as to get away with taking $1.6 billion of other people's money. Three of the fattest cats from MFGlobal are slated for bonuses of six figures each!
So, there you go. Make lots of money and cultivate lots of political connections. Take other people's money without their permission (most of us call that stealing, but apparently not the federal authorities). Get paid a big bonus. Cool.
Makes you wonder why anyone actually works for a living, doesn't it?