The Argentine crisis of 2000–02 was among the most severe of recent currency crises. With the economy in a third year of recession, in December 2001, Argentina defaulted on its sovereign debt and, in early January 2002, the government abandoned the convertibility regime, under which the peso had been pegged at parity with the U.S. dollar since 1991. The crisis had a devastating economic and social impact, causing many observers to question the role played by the IMF over the preceding decade when it was almost continuously engaged in the country through five successive financing arrangements.