This study explores the role of accounting manipulation in a period of economic and political crisis. Recently discovered archival material at the French Ministry of Finance casts new light on the false balance sheets issued by the Bank of France during the 1920s and permits a comprehensive review of the nature and extent of falsification. This episode of accounting manipulation marked a turning point in French monetary policy. It destroyed the credibility of governmental monetary intentions and was the beginning of the second franc crisis. A new interpretation of this episode of national currency depreciation is suggested. In line with Aftalion's (1926) findings, the study identifies the centrality of the psychological influence of note circulation disclosures as a motivation for falsification.