From Mahalanobis on energy trader genius Brian Hunter, who lost $6 billion betting on natural gas for Amaranth:
As he lost $6B, one would think that is punishment enough, but he does seem to be getting away with murder, in that he put on a really large calendar spread on oil, bet big and personally pocketed around $75mm in 2005, then lost $6B and got no bonus the next year on the same dumb trade. That annualizes at $37.5mm/year, not bad. As a further reward, some Middle Eastern investors are giving him $650mm for his next venture (he lost $6B? Brilliant!).
This seems to reflect a general tendency among incentive structures for the extremely well-paid, whether Wall Streeters, CEOs, movie stars, or athletes: heads you win, tails you don't lose.