Bad-boy trader booted by Merc, fined $50,000 September 28, 2005 BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter The Chicago Mercantile Exchange said Tuesday it fined Lewis Borsellino, one of its most combative characters, $50,000 and ordered him to sell his membership for allegedly trying to avoid making good on several losing trades. The action means Borsellino, 48, won't be swinging his fists on the trading floors anytime soon. He was known for getting into scrapes with others in the pits and his track record at the Merc includes several minor infractions, mostly along the lines of "conduct that impairs the dignity'' of the exchange. In 1999, Borsellino published a book about his career titled The Day Trader: From the Pits to the PC. It actually contained little about day trading and more about his pugilism and the challenges he faced growing up as the son of Tony Borsellino, a reputed mob hit man who himself was assassinated. Duked it out for prime space The trader's tales of winning slugfests to gain coveted standing areas in the pits irritated Merc bosses, who were intent on burnishing the image of futures trading in preparation for making the exchange a public company. In its decision posted Tuesday, the Merc said Borsellino tried to avoid responsibility for several trades in 2001 and 2003 and impeded an arbitration that eventually led to restitution. In ordering him to sell his membership, the Merc barred him from reapplying for three years. Borsellino, who agreed to the findings without admitting wrongdoing, said the decision won't crimp his style much. He said he's been retired from futures trading for two years and won't come back. He now spends time developing retirement communities Downstate. Also, Borsellino is pursuing a lawsuit against Gerald Putnam, chief executive of the Chicago-based Archipelago stock exchange, which is being absorbed into the New York Stock Exchange. Borsellino accused Putnam of cheating him out of an interest in the business that became Archipelago. He's claimed that he used to account for 10 percent of daily volumes in the S&P futures pits. But that business has migrated from open-outcry pits to computers. Borsellino admitted he's not fond of the transition. "I don't even look at the markets anymore," he said. "I've done it for so long, I'm done. And there's no volatility.'' Asked if the penalties were the Merc's payback for past actions, Borsellino said, "I don't know what motivates the individuals in the compliance department. It is a source of revenue now and it has a big budget.'' A Merc spokesman declined to discuss the case, following the policy for disciplinary announcements. Borsellino remarked that the old Wild West-image of trading is obsolete and mused about the day when the Merc builds a display to show what open-outcry was like. "I'm sure they'll make me a dummy in the wax museum,'' he said.