Economists do not agree on many things, but there is a near consensus that for America to default on its debt obligations would be potentially cataclysmic so yes there is the expectation that a deal can still be struck.
Even in this town, there is a working assumption that politicians are not suicidal and there is something like 79 hours left until the debt ceiling deadline is reached.
There is of course a second deadline in play which is the concern that political uncertainty here could easily rattle the markets before they open in the morning.
The core problem is that there are radical Republicans here on Capitol Hill who are trying to use this deadline as leverage to extract concessions from President Obama.
The White House is saying, 'look we will negotiate but not with a gun to our heads', so the result is not just paralysis but growing acrimony as well.
All of it happens as the IMF and the World Bank hold their annual meeting in this town and really for the first time in many years the focus of their concern is not the frailties and vulnerabilities of European economies but rather how hopelessly organised the US government is.
That concern is mounting by the hour as we approach that Thursday midnight deadline.
Hundreds of US military veterans gathered on the Capitol Mall in Washington, DC to demand that the country's war memorials are reopened.
The memorials have been temporarily closed as a result of the government shutdown.
The veterans were joined by several prominent speakers, including the Republican Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, as well as former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Hundreds of US military veterans gathered outside the White House demanding that the country's war memorials be reopened after their temporary closure due to the government shutdown.
The Statue of Liberty has reopened to the public after New York state agreed to shoulder the costs of running the site during the US federal government shutdown.
Ferry trips from Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty resumed this morning, with eager visitors lining up to tour the monument.
New York state agreed last week to take over the daily costs of keeping it open - about $61,600 (£38,580) per day.
New York has 33 sites under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, which have been shut since October 1.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have failed to make any significant progress towards a deal even as a threatened default by the Treasury crept uncomfortably closer and a partial US government shutdown neared the end of its second week.
Politicians in both parties said they were watching for the reaction to the political uncertainty by the financial markets when they reopen after the weekend.
The focus of efforts to end the government shutdown and prevent a US default shifted to the Senate on Saturday, where Senate leaders were in bipartisan talks aimed at resolving the twin stalemates.
President Barack Obama is meeting with Senate Democratic leaders at the White House today to discuss the ongoing government shutdown, the White House announced.
US Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has welcomed the start of negotiations with Senate Republicans on a way to end a 12-day-old government shutdown, but said there was a "long way to go" on fiscal talks.
Reid, who met with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell today, said the Republicans must allow the US government to reopen and support fast action on raising federal borrowing authority to avoid a historic default in order to achieve progress on other budget issues.
The White House has urged Congress to "do its job" and find a solution to end a fiscal impasse over raising the US debt ceiling after the Senate rejected a Democratic plan.
A statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney said it was unfortunate that the Senate Democratic plan failed to pass because it would have taken the threat of a debt default off the table ahead of a looming Thursday deadline.
Carney said: "Congress must do its job and raise the debt limit to pay the bills we have incurred and avoid default.
"Congress needs to move forward with a solution that reopens the government and allows us to pay our bills."
Republicans in the Senate are expected to block a bill by President Barack Obama's Democrats to increase the US debt limit through 2014, Reuters reported, citing a senior congressional aide.
The aide said Democrats were prepared to try to build up support and bring up the bill again in coming days.
The bill was expected to be blocked today by a Republican procedural hurdle that takes 60 votes to clear in the 100-member chamber - Democrats control the Senate, 54-46.
President Barack Obama used his weekly address to the nation to pressure the Republicans to agree a longer debt ceiling extension to get the US economy through the holiday shopping season.
Obama stressed: "It doesn't have to be this way. It's not supposed to be this way ... and we have to stop it."
"Let's pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this Republican shutdown. Let's pay our bills, and prevent an economic shutdown. Then let's get back to the work of the American people," he added.