Diva of the Deal

How Enron's high temptress turned massive projects into a $2 billion wet dream for the company -- and an estimated $100 million profit for herself

Dabhol, Mark's vision for India, has failed. Enron shut the plant down in May 2001 because the Indian government refused to pay for the power it produced. The Indians said -- surprise! -- that the electricity being generated by the plant was too expensive. In fact, Enron insiders say that in 2000, the electricity from Dabhol was costing as much as 18 cents per kilowatt-hour, or about twice the amount now being paid by Houston residents. Thus despite an investment of more than $2 billion -- about $900 million of it Enron's -- Dabhol now generates nothing more than some very expensive rust.

Azurix, Mark's wet dream, came to a similarly disastrous end. In March, Enron sold Wessex Water -- the jewel in Mark's Azurix crown -- to a Malaysian company, YTL Power International, for $1.76 billion, a loss of just over $1.1 billion. Enron hasn't been able to sell the Buenos Aires concession and is now hoping to just walk away from it.

Today, the woman who prefers Armani is all dressed up with nowhere to go. Not that she needs to go anywhere, mind you. Mark is still rich, gorgeous and married again. Her new husband is Michael Jusbasche, a rich Bolivian-born businessman. The two live in her plush house in River Oaks with a newly adopted child and the two boys from her previous marriage. They support a few local causes, including the Awty International School, a very chic (the school's Web site is in both English and French), very expensive multi-language prep school in west Houston.

Top of the Mark: Rebecca rose through the ranks at warp speed.
Fred Harper
Top of the Mark: Rebecca rose through the ranks at warp speed.
Pipe Dreams author Bryce is a veteran business journalist.
Pipe Dreams author Bryce is a veteran business journalist.

This all-but-invisible version of Rebecca Mark is remarkably different from the one she showed the world during a 1996 interview with Fortune. "I enjoy being a world-class problem solver," Mark told the magazine. "I'm constantly asking, 'How far can I go? How much can I do?' "

Unfortunately for Enron and its investors, she did far too much.

An excerpt adapted from the book, Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron, by Robert Bryce, © 2002. Reprinted by arrangement with Public Affairs, a member of the Perseus Books Group. All rights reserved.

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