Nicholas Chirls worked as a junior investment banker at Lehman Brothers from 2007 through 2008 and saw the firm's inner workings at a time when it was fighting for its life. (He survived the firm's September 2008 bankruptcy, but quit shortly after.) He now works on seed investments at betaworks, a venture capital firm, and lives in Brooklyn.
[Update: Chirls has requested that his essay about Lehman Brothers, which was republished with his permission, be removed from NYMag.com. It can still be viewed at his blog.]