A year on from the collapse of Lehman the newspapers are full of stories reflecting on the bank’s failure. A senior Bank of England official said he was “astounded” the U.S. government let the bank fall, but some might be more shocked by the rapid bounce-back of the stock markets, which is helping big M&A deals come down the pipeline.

For the latest Reuters deals news, click here.

And here’s a round-up of deal-related stories from Monday’s press:

* French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde plans to extend billions of euros of loan guarantees to France’s top banks for another year, and is calling on them to provide action plans on financing the economy, Les Echos reported.

* Tony O’Reilly is ready to give up his controlling stake in debt-laden Independent News & Media, following months of restructuring discussions. As part of a wider plan, bondholders will take cash and shares ahead of a rights issue, the Times of London reported.

* The British Conservative Party is looking at plans to sell shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group to retail investors, the Financial Times said. Shadow Chancellor George Osborne is examining options to offload government stakes in the two banks, the newspaper said. Reuters story here.

* Britain’s Resolution, an acquisition vehicle founded by tycoon Clive Cowdery, may buy a general insurer as part of its plan to shake up European financial services, Chief Executive John Tiner told the Times.