In the movie The Dark Knight Rises, Bane robs the Gotham City Stock Exchange, more specifically with the purpose of bankrupting Bruce Wayne.

What I don't understand and feels like a plot hole to me: Why does this transaction actually go through? Not only are there tons of witnesses that can attest that this transaction was essentially done fraudulently, one would expect that such a major stock exchange would just be emergency hard shutdown within seconds if a robbery attempt were to take place, just blocking all transactions until the danger has passed. The transaction done in the robbery to me just feels like in the real world, it would never have succeeded.

Why does this robbery manage to bankrupt Bruce Wayne like this?

  • 1
    Considering how corrupt Gotham is in general, and also movie handwaving, i‘m not surprised it worked at all. Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 8:39
  • 11
    tbh there are a LOT of plot holes in TDKR. For example, Bruce just randomly is able to get back into Gotham even though it's supposed to be locked down. During the stock exchange heist it magically turns from day to night. bruce's back is "fixed" with a rope, etc. etc. i blame all of this on nolan's reluctance to actually want to make this movie
    – DForck42
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


You are actually completely right. This is plot hole, probably because of rushed writing.

In real life such a 'coup' would never have succeeded. Any and all transactions done in such a fraudulent way, would indeed be blocked or the ones that went through would be canceled afterwards. There are plenty of witnesses that can say that Bane =/= Bruce Wayne. This scene was counting on, that no one would know the slightest bit of how a stock exchange works... and that plan failed.

What's worse is that even the type of transaction performed was incorrect for the intended purpose. Bane purchased puts, a type of insurance against dropping prices that allows you to sell your shares at a certain price even if the market price is lower. Since Bane's attack on the stock exchange would certainly cause a serious drop in prices or even a market crash, these puts are suddenly worth a lot more, than if the market would have continued as usual. Wayne Enterprises would in such a case have lost a lot less than other companies.

Talk about a failure on all accounts.

Source: The Atlantic

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    The flawed logic of the put would have been righted if someone had claimed that Wayne had dreamed up the scheme to destroy his competitors, resulting in his arrest for fraud.
    – Buck Thorn
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 7:48
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    This is actually by far my least favourite of the Nolan Batman run (apart from Anne Hathaway in a catsuit) there's this awful stock exchange junk. There's also the scene at the beginning of the movie where Bane kills one of his own guys so the body count on the plane will match. Mate, there are 4 HUGE holes in the plane and the wings fell off a hundred miles behind. No one is going to count the corpses and then call it a day. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 7:37

Ignoring the practicality of whether those transactions would be caught or not, I think the idea is that transactions entered with legitimate authorization codes would not be able to be filtered out from the massive volumes of transactions happening every second. Basically, anyone losing money is going to claim that their claims were bogus ones, whether true or not.

By making a futures transaction (even if the wrong kind as claimed in another answer, I neither dispute nor agree with that), where one only needs a fraction of the money at stake to place the option, but then the reckoning must be settled at a later time, they are able to fraudulently put a large portion of his assets at risk, again, supposedly, without those transactions being able to be definitively identifiable as fake.

Yes, once the threat is identified, an exchange would be able to suspend transactions, but what they were really doing was not identified until much, much later, so that would not help here.

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