Russian President Vladimir Putin may still be popular in his country despite the ongoing economic crisis, but he made a miscalculation that could hurt him unless he makes a big change, well-known economist Jim O'Neill told CNBC on Thursday.
"The miscalculation I think he's made here is because of the collapse of the ruble, there's going to be a huge shock to the real incomes of 140 million Russians. And his popularity is not just because he's tough. It's because Russian people have done so well the past decade, if not longer," said O'Neill, former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
"Even though they're not the biggest of the BRICS, they're the wealthiest of the BRICS. That's now in the process of changing dramatically."