Reid shutdown
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) participates in a news conference on the government shutdown at the U.S. Capitol, October 9, 2013 in Washington, D.C. - 

The government is still shut down, and the debt ceiling talks are on and off again. Is there an end in sight?

"Everything is still in flux; nothing's assured yet," says FT Alphaville's Cardiff Garcia. "I wouldn't quite go to the level of calling it a breakthrough, but I think at least we have a welcome signal that lawmakers on both sides understand the severity of a possible debt ceiling breach, and I think that's why you're seeing a lot of people be at least a little bit more relieved than they were even a couple of days ago."

"Relieved is too strong," countered The New York Times' Catherine Rampell. "I don't know, I still feel like you're hearing comments from some Republicans in Congress that they don't think a debt ceiling breach would be that big of a deal. You haven't seen markets freak out, so it's not as if the financial sector is putting a lot of pressure on congressmen who have that misperception, I would say, about the consequences of a debt default. So it's still very much up in the air."

Listen to the full audio for more on the debt ceiling and President Obama's pick this week for the next head of the Federal Reserve. And we have our #longreads picks for the weekend:

Cardiff chose:

Catherine picked:

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal