(NEW YORK) — Is the recession over? Looking at the Instagram photos of one New York socialite, you might think so.
Photos of a lavish Goldman Sachs partners dinner last month showed bankers are partying again.
The last big dinner was held in 2006. Soon after, the economy began tanking and Goldman Sachs, along with other big investment banks on Wall Street, became Main Street targets for profiting from the subprime mortgage crisis.
Goldman Sachs was criticized for taking government bailout money and, in turn, awarding their executives with large bonuses. They have since paid back the money and posted profits, but also cut thousands of jobs.
One source well-connected with the big banks and familiar with the parties told ABC News that a party doesn’t necessarily indicate a huge economic change, but it does mean things are certainly looking up.
“I think everybody now will do parties, but nothing like the old days,” the source said. “Many have cancelled Christmas parties for the last five years and the parties, if they have them at all, are half of what they used to be.”
The source added that in 2008 it wouldn’t have been good to be seen partying during such a dire economic state.
Though Goldman Sachs spokesperson David Wells wouldn’t go into the details of the dinner, he said the partners gather intermittently and for many reasons. Another partner meeting was held in 2011.
“The dinner was a nice way to end a week full of meetings and to welcome the 70 new partners, especially since that whole group from around the world doesn’t get together often,” Wells told ABC News.
The photos were posted on the Instagram account of @shannonkelly926, who has since made her profile private. Kelly’s Twitter account says she recently relocated to New York from Las Vegas, where her MySpace page shows pictures of her competing in swimsuit competitions within the Las Vegas night club circuit. A request for comment was not returned by Kelly.
The photos of the Goldman Sachs party were obtained and first reported by New York Magazine, and show a large black tie affair with formal table settings and a musical performance.
The Instagram postings were tagged to warehouse party venue Pier 36, and appeared to be the only photos that have surfaced from the event. A sweep of the 70 new Goldman Sachs partners’ social media sites did not reveal any images from that night.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Aaron Smith, CNN
Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Alanna Petroff, CNN