I wouldn't be surprised if they're not currently allowed to buy shares on the open market individually as officers/directors due to what might be in the works (or advised by) MS.
I think this question kind of threw him & team off but you also have to think that someone advised them or they thought that it would be a question that came up.
Right now, as it stands, everyone in the company that has stock grants vesting or a huge chunk of their own money has seen the same 75% haircut as us common folk. In fact, that last May 2015 batch of shares bought by insiders (again, probably advised as good will) to us common folk, have lost an average of $1.75 per share. But that was only 87K shares at average $2.20ish. The math was a great gesture at the time but a complete failure.
Based on budgets, cost cutting, etc., I don't think NOR can actually buy enough to make any kind of difference with what they have, they're in survival mode in a massive storm.
CENX went throught the same thing March 2009. Came all the way down to $1 with everyone scratching their heads . Sadly, I never pulled the trigger on that. I've been accumulating down here though, downside is super minimal yes. A low PPS is not a trigger to file BK and it's worthy to mention that the CEO has publicly stated numerous times how excited they are (and on top of) cost cutting/running lean and mean to get through this glut... summer, low aluminum prices, currency and import/export issues, and things political.
Didn't see sub $1 coming a few months ago. There are some big chunks of 20k, 30k, and bigger in Nasdaq's trade reporting, just can tell who's selling/buying. http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/nor/time-sales?time=10