NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Russian ruble has collapsed, down 40% so far in 2014. While the currency has been boosted in recent days due to central bank intervention, the economic outlook remains bleak at best.
Russia is an exporter of crude oil. As prices have dramatically fallen over the past six months, so has the country's energy revenue. Making matters worse, Russia is a large importer of consumer goods, according to William Browder, founder of Hermitage Capital Management.
As a result of the falling currency, imported goods will now cost more in rubles than before. Economically speaking, Browder estimates that the average Russian citizen will be worse off by 25% to 30% in 2015.
It's basically like a big pay cut, Browder added.
The economic crisis reminds him of that in Venezuela six years ago. As the conditions worsen and nationalism spreads, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be forced to adopt more anti-business policies. This may result in the nationalizing of Russian corporations, as the government becomes desperate for revenues.
"I wouldn't put a penny into Russia right now," Browder added.