thanks for your thoughts and insight on the possible hedging those two might be doing...even if they are shorting to be able to keep buying, there is only one reason to do so and that's to gain control..the Market cap is only 400 million...the debt against assets is only 30% and easily manageable with current revenue especially since they still pay out .88 cents p/yr in dividends. Also they have billion in liquidity on the credit lines and management has been reducing GA costs each qr against the down turn in rates. But getting back to the insider buying, who would tie up 100 million for valuation to go lower..and if you are shorting, you must be able to cover immediately if the position goes against you...That said, I believe your insight on how they can do this legally must be valid, 8 million short, only makes sense if you control most of it like the two directors that now over 5 million shares total not including Oct purchases which I haven't seen yet come up. But, both have file 13D's which is usually a precursor to Take out. It will be interesting for sure. Even during the melt down 2009 this stock was trading well above 20...
In general, hedge funds and banks own warrants/convertibles as well as short positions as hedges against loans, thus could be the dilution and insiders can lend their shares to shorts in which they have ownership interest.
Also, I doubt they can pre-purchase shares with an attempt to go private without disclosure, moreover it appears there's too much debt and too little income to warrant going private.
I have no position, was just doing some DD and thought I'd share it.