Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
IMO the reason this is being debated and the reason the movie (and Nolan himself, actually) does not cleanly state "Batman has been retired since the night Dent died" is to streamline the story for the audience and not present too convoluted a backstory, without infringing upon the imaginations of people who'd like to believe Batman might have stayed quietly active for a short period after.
A line like "the last confirmed sighting" remains ambiguous to me in nature.
Doesn't Daggett say, "8 years, and he has to pick tonight?" That says to me that he really was gone for 8 years, or at the very least, hasn't done a big job like the stock exchange for that long.