deadsea - 9:26 pm on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)
The statements from Google on this have until now been clear: each 301 redirect suctions off a percent of the pagerank. Now Matt says he was actually answering a different question to prevent people from trying to use redirects instead of links.
From a technical and algorithmic standpoint, it could be implemented either way.
It's as clear as mud.